High Tech Gadgets For the Visually Impaired - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/2/05

High Tech Gadgets For the Visually Impaired

All the high tech stuff we take for granted might bring extra frustration to those who are blind or have serious vision problems. So, since new technologies are vital to everyone, a group called Lighthouse International has unveiled some state of the art technology adapted specifically for people with little or no sight.

For example a cell phone that talks to people like Betty Bird, who depends on her ears instead of her eyes. "I know what's going on with my phone. I know why it's beeping or chirping, whatever it decides to do. If I'm getting a call, I can press one of these buttons and it will read me the telephone number of the person who is calling so now I can not take a call just like you," says Bird.

Likewise there's a PDA, also known as a Palm Pilot, that has been modified with speech software so it can allow the visually impaired to have access to their calendar, phone numbers and addresses.

"There's a tactile keypad that's been designed to go over the face of the unit. Now this unit without this type of software, you would have to use the stylus and you would have to access the screen visually, so this way it makes the device accessible. That has changed my life because this way I don't have to worry about, you know, getting information later, anything that I need to take down or refer to, it's right here in the palm of my hand," says Fred Quick, with Lighthouse International.

There are other adapted devices as well, including a navigator that tells you where you are. The only problem is this stuff is expensive, but if you or someone you know would like to learn more about how popular electronic devices can be adapted for the visually impaired, you can call this toll free number 1-800-829-0500 or ( click here ).

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