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Disability Visual Aids: New Products and Review Information

Disabled World: Revised/Updated: 2018/11/29

Synopsis: Visual aids and adaptive technology products and their functions that enhance the lives of people with vision disabilities.

Main Document

Visual Communication is defined as communication through a visual aid and described as the conveyance of ideas and information in forms that can be read or looked upon. Visual communication in part or whole relies on vision, and is primarily presented or expressed with two dimensional images, it includes: signs, typography, drawing, graphic design, illustration, Industrial Design, Advertising, Animation color and electronic resources. There are 4 levels of visual function, according to the International Classification of Diseases:

20/20 Vision

A term used to express normal visual acuity (the clarity or sharpness of vision) measured at a distance of 20 feet. If you have 20/20 vision, you can see clearly at 20 feet what should normally be seen at that distance. If you have 20/40 vision, it means that when you stand 20 feet away from the chart you can see what a normal human can see when standing 40 feet from the chart.

Legally Blind

In North America and most of Europe, legal blindness is defined as visual acuity (vision) of 20/200 (6/60) or less in the better eye with best correction possible. This means that a legally blind individual would have to stand 20 feet (6 m) from an object to see it with the same degree of clarity as a normally sighted person could from 200 feet (60 m).

Some Quick Vision Impairment Statistics

Adaptive Technologies and Functions

Basic labeled diagram of the human eye.
Basic labeled diagram of the human eye.

A Braille reader is used as an input device on a personal computer. This is direct touch for embossed point on Braille paper by an isolated thin metal wire which can connect to any other large/small computers.

A (CCTV) or closed-circuit television system uses a stand-mounted or handheld video camera that projects a magnified image onto a video monitor, a television (TV) screen, or a computer monitor.

Braille Displays operate by raising and lowering different combination's of pins electronically to produce in Braille format what appears on a portion of a computer screen. They show up to 80 characters from the screen and are refreshable. The Braille display sits on the user's desk. The advantage of the Braille display in comparison to synthetic speech is in its direct access to information. They also check format, spacing and spelling.

Electronic Braille note takers are small, portable devices with Braille keyboards for entering information. They use a speech synthesizer or a Braille display for output. The user then enters the information on the Braille keyboard and has the option of transferring it to a computer with more memory, reviewing it using the built in speech synthesizer or Braille display, or printing it on a Braille or on a printer.

Screen readers that tell the synthesizer what to say. The synthesizers used with computers are text-to-speech systems. Their programming includes all the phonemes and grammatical rules of a language. This allows them to pronounce words correctly.

Screen magnifiers come with many options and can reach high levels of magnification. Today's full-featured screen magnification programs are compatible with Windows Vista, XP, and NT/2000. For those who need more than magnification, it is possible to use a built-in screen reader with today's screen magnifiers.

Visual Aids for Everyday Use

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