Talking Aids

Talking Aids

Posted on Sep.11, 2013, by , under Educational, Eye Conditions, Guest Blogger, Living With Low Vision

Often, when we think of visual aids for those with low vision or macular degeneration we think of magnifiers, lights, bold print or large numbers. However, a talking aid may be a useful device for those with vision losses. It’s often a quicker and easier way to get the info or help that is needed.

My father-in-law who has wet macular degeneration, was finding it difficult to see the time on the watch he received as a retirement gift 20 years ago. It no longer served him well as he could not see the tiny hands or tiny numbers on the face. As a birthday present we found him a watch that had a larger face, big bold, black numbers, and also with the push of a button spoke the time. He actually uses the talking feature most of the time rather than looking at the hands and numbers. Talking watches are just one of the many different talking gadgets that are now available. Another one of his favorite aids is a tire pressure gauge that speaks the tire pressure. No need to get out a penlight and magnifier to see the tiny numbers and lines – he just presses a button and he can hear the numbers for a quick and easy way to monitor the pressure in the tires.

We just put in a new heating and air conditioning system that of course included a new high tech digital thermostat that is hard for any person, even with good vision to see. I have often wondered how does one with low vision ever see the numbers on these new digital thermostats? Well if you are struggling with getting the temperature right in your house, you may want to install a talking thermostat.

Keeping track of appointments and to do lists can be a challenge because it not only requires writing in legible handwriting which is difficult for those with low vision, it also requires the ability to see what was written. Track your important appointments, birthday reminders, and errands using a talking calendar. Using your own voice you record your scheduled events or reminders and when the day of the appointment comes, a red light flashes to alert you of that day’s messages. By simply touching a button you can hear the reminders providing you with times, locations and other details. There is a repeat button that allows you to listen to the messages again. To make things even easier you can set up reminders for events that occur annually such as birthdays, anniversaries and holidays.

For more solutions to making everyday tasks easier visit:


Leslie Degner, RN, BSN