Assistive Devices and Innovative Technology for Blind People

Accessibility and Assistive Devices

In this film, discover assistive devices and cutting-edge technology designed to empower persons with low vision and blindness.

Diverse self-advocates from different organizations showcase the innovative tools, be it the functionality of a desktop magnifier or a screen reading software becoming the bridge to navigating computers. Explore the realm of digital literacy for blind individuals, follow the journey of visually impaired individuals as they embrace smart appliances, voice-activated technologies and apps to enhance their independence and revolutionize their daily lives.

You also get to experience the intersection of sports and inclusivity with Blind Cricket and adaptive board games designed with Braille elements.

With the use of these devices, witness a world where accessibility knows no bounds and inclusion becomes a reality as the visually impaired community leverages these assistive devices and technology to break barriers and redefine possibilities.

Share this

Transcript

I have Low Vision and we can say that there is a lack of understanding when it comes to Low Vision as well.

A person whose eyesight is weak might have different abilities.

Some people might only have light perception, some people might be able to see a little more.

So, for them, they need some technology, training or devices like magnifiers etc.

So, I am a Low Vision, I can’t read this book very well.

So I’m using, this is a desktop magnifier, so using this device I can read very well.

Simply I put the books below the camera.

This is the movable desk board, so just I have to set the, which paragraph I want to read.

So for example I want to read the first paragraph, so I have to set the first paragraph in front of me.

So now I can read the first paragraph without any obstacle t.

And there is some control.

So using the control I can zoom in and zoom out.

And also there is a color changing buttons, so using this, now I can change the color contrast as well as brightness.

So according to their eyesight, so I can set the control, using controls, and now I can read the whole book without any obstacles.

*

When it comes to blind people, people think it is very important for blind persons to learn Braille and that maybe Braille is the only way by which they can read and write.

If blind children get a chance to go to a special school, then it’s alright for them to learn Braille, and they should.

But those who attend mainstream schools or people who are late blind, who lose their vision later in life, it’s not so important for them to learn Braille.

And today, what’s more important is that they become digitally literate.

They should know how to use the computer and the internet as soon as they can.

Because you see it’s necessary for everyone these days to know how to use the internet.

As far as filling in a form for college or applying for a job or even booking a railway ticket or shopping

To do almost everything, it’s important now to know how to use a computer or a smartphone.

Call Kishor Gohil.

Calling Kishor Gohil mobile

(Phone dictating an audiobook)

So we use these things to the fullest.

Like, we use computers, we use smartphones, we can email using a screen reading software, we can prepare documents and we can work in any given environment.

JAWS means Job Access with Speech.

How sighted people are using computer, in same way we are using with the help of screen reading software, but the text converts into speech.

I have a print book which I cannot read due to my vision loss.

I will now use Kibo Access Device to read it.

This device is connected to my laptop.

This has an application called Kibo Desk…I’m pressing enter on that.

Then I can capture the image of the book by tapping.

I just captured an image of this book.

If I have to continuously read the book till the end, then I will continuously flip the pages and keep capturing them.

Now I’ve captured two images of this book.

Now I’ll process them so that it can give me a soft copy from the hard copy by converting it into e-text.

It has given me a converted e-text.

Let me navigate it.

Now, through the JAWS screen reader software I’m navigating it, look!

(Audio from laptop)

This is a short description about Be My Eyes on that page.

(Audio from laptop)

Tap Tap See

So on that page there were descriptions of some applications, the complete details of them are here.

If I want, I can download the text from here, as a word file or .txt file.

So, in my opinion, digital literacy is critical for the visually impaired and the faster they’re taught this, the better.

If we look at the mainstream, schools give the kids, even the young kids access to computers and they are taught how to use them.

So, this should be done for sure.

This is being done in NAB Delhi.

And the outcomes of this are very good.

The visually impaired kids become independent in reading and writing from a young age.

They write their own assignments, they read their own books, e-books, and this affects their personality a lot because when the world of internet is right in front of them, they can read anything at all, they can explore anything at all, they can research.

Whereas if we only stay limited to Braille, we can access only those books available in the Braille format.

So, we’re not minimizing the importance of Braille here, it’s a good skill, as much as of it you can know or you can learn, it is good, but a complimentary way and an important way is to be digitally literate, and they learn that as fast as they can.

X2 - 7x + 10

So this is a question from polynomials.

We use Taylor Frame for Maths, this is what we attach on this, they’re called types and this frame is called Taylor Frame.

So on this we do the calculations needed for Mathematics etc.

And we also use this in school for calculations and we use a laptop for writing the questions, and for the calculations we use this.

Right now I’ll talk about some assistive devices, with the help of which visually impaired people can continue their education.

Firstly, I want to ask you all a question: If a visually impaired or a blind person needs to read a printed book, how can they do it?

A simple answer that you may give is, the visually impaired or blind person would have to take help from a sighted person who would, as a reader, read the books to them.

But today I’ll tell you about one such assistive device where you can not only record your book but can also download it from the internet.

It’s a Daisy Player which you can connect with the internet and through Bookshare or from Sugamya you can download books in either audio format or EPUB format.

The best thing is that you can connect this device with the internet and download whichever book you want.

Whatever you are downloading, you can store it on the internal memory or you can use an external SD card to store that data. By this way, you can enjoy all the books in the world.

So, Daisy Player are for those people who find it comfortable listening to audiobooks, there are some people who enjoy the content more by reading it through Braille.

For them, we have an Electronic Braille Display, which is called Orbit Reader.

By using Orbit Reader, you can both read and create content in the Braille format.

And the best part is, a soft copy in the .docs format is continuously being created whenever you create any content using this device.

So if you are a student attending college, or if you’re working and you need to share something with your colleagues, you can directly share the soft copy with them.

*

(Audio coming from mobile)

So I’ve just called for a volunteer.

Hi.

Hello.

Yeah I just wanted to, wanted a little help uh, uh I just wanted you to tell me um uh the the color of the shirt I’m wearing?

Can you…can you see it?

I can’t see, move a bit to the…

Am I pointing the camera in the right direction?

Uh no I think I just see a light.

Now?

Ah yeah, it’s green. Greenish Brown.

It’s greenish?

Yeah.

Okay, thank you so much.

Seeing AI is an app which uh you know like I’ll show a visiting card and it’ll read out what’s on the visiting card.

So I will now, I’m going to use it now for, I’m going to…

(Audio from mobile)

It says project something, I’m not able to figure out what the name is but project something which is to do with evidence based education and research.

So that’s what’s it’s read from this card.

So what this app actually helps me do is if I have a page of text to be read it brings, when I focus the camera on it, it reads out what’s on the page.

And it, it kind of helps me to read visiting, visiting cards.

Now this I don’t think is a visiting card of sorts.

It seems to be, because there was no name on it but it helped me to know what this card was about.

It’s talking about education, evidence based research and so on.

So uh so this card, this also has other functions which I don’t use.

(Audio from mobile)

So it’s actually got it on memory now.

(Audio from mobile)

So that’s uh, this…I use this to read uh short texts on visiting cards, on, on maybe uh the, a single sheet of paper somebody hands out to me.

Uh so this is something that one can use.

Hello my name is Inderpreet Singh and I work in National Association for the Blind, Delhi, as a helpline executive since November 2021.

And I’m basically also a YouTuber.

My channel name is Blind Tech Communication, where I make technical videos for visually impaired people through the screen readers.

So, I have a few notes here that I cannot recognize.

So there is a mobile application called Mani.

M A N I

This has been created by the Reserve Bank of India for visually impaired persons.

So, with the help of this app I'll recognize these notes now.

200 Rupees.

500 Rupees.

100 Rupees.

So here is 800 Rupees.

So anyone can check its Rs. 800.

We have used multiple kinds of technology to make our lives independent in our homes as well.

For example, how do blind people set the temperature on the air conditioner?

So we have smart appliances for that these days, which we can operate with our voice.

Alexa, set bedroom AC to 22

Ok the Ac is set to 22

There are also talking microwaves and ovens.

There are talking thermometers.

So, with awareness and the right guidance, the blind and people with low vision can be independent as well.

(Audio coming from phone)

Okay, haha, woman in a long sleeve shirt, sitting on floor, it said.

It said yellow as well.

But it said sitting on floor, maybe that’s not accurate.

So that’s how it tells things.

This is…

Can the app detect this remote?

Yeah?

Can the app detect this remote?

Yes, remote…it can detect very easily that it’s a remote.

See, it can say the reading on the AC is 24 as well.

The remote control is white in color.

Take a photo of the camera.

This camera?

We can use this app after a shopping trip to check what is what, which one is shampoo, which one is conditioner.

(Audio from mobile)

Black and Green camera on tripod.

It’s quite accurate.

*

I like dresses and I like dressing up.

And I try to recognize on my own, since I have a little light perception and as a kid I could see, so I know colors.

I mean, I am aware about colors.

So I just identify with the help of, I have an Audio Labeler.

I identify colors with the help of that, and then I match colors and wear clothes in combination.

So, a lot of people around me, they were always surprised, they think of me as a very well dressed person.

They think my dressing sense is very good.

So they find it very surprising as to how I know it.

Also, after checking using the audio labeler, I arrange and keep clothes of the same colour together, I mean, I organize in such a way that dark colors are at one side, light colors are at another, shirts on one side, trousers another and jeans at one side.

I arrange like this on the same shelf of an almirah so that quickly I find whatever I want to wear.

In our daily life, we work just like a sighted person would, but the way we do a particular work, the style, the process might vary.

We use technology and some devices to go about our daily life and work.

I’m holding a Braille watch in my hand.

To know the time through this watch, I’ll first have to open it.

Then, I’ll feel the dots and the hands of the watch to know where the hand is pointing at the moment.

The long (hour) hand is between three and four.

The short (minute) hand is between two and three.

So I can say that the watch is showing the time about seventeen or eighteen minutes past two right now.

Now I am holding the talking calculator.

If I have to ask any question, then I’ll first press the clear button.

Let me draft a question…

(Calculator making noises)

Take, for instance, I have a guest over at my place.

So, if you want to serve water or a cold drink to your guest, many times it happens that the liquid overflows from the glass.

To avoid that, I have a device in my hand called a Liquid Level Indicator.

When I fix the device to the glass like this, and as I fill water in the glass from another glass

(The device starts beeping and vibrating once the liquid has reached a certain level near the top of the glass.)

…so now I know the glass is full because this device is beeping and vibrating.

We need not pour any more water in the glass.

*

My name is Umer Sidiq, I am an International Blind Cricketer.

You must be thinking, how can someone blind be a cricketer?

This is possible (rattles ball) with the help of this ball.

(Children playing inclusive cricket)

This ball (continues rattling) containing cycle beads is rolled and thrown under-arm by blind people who play cricket, like this (rolls the ball).

So this is how it’s played.

If you have a sports lover in your family, this is how you can play Inclusive Cricket with them as this game can be played by blind as well as sighted people together.

A player can reach International Levels through this game.

In the same way other sports can be played, like football.

Football is also a very popular game in India.

(Shakes the ball) You must be able to hear a sound coming from inside this football as well.

These footballs are really heavy in weight and they are also played by rolling them on the floor.

You cannot throw them too high during the playing of the game as sounds become soft in the air.

With the help of these, you can encourage your students or your children to take part in games and prevent them thinking that they can’t play sports.

This is a handball, and it is popular among the kids.

Young kids can play with it as there's no chance of getting hurt. It’s very light.
This is a chess board.

It might look like a regular chess board to you but the game has been made inclusive by making some minor changes to the board.

Let’s talk about the points first.

These white points, you’ll see a dot on top of the pieces which lets us know that these are all white pieces.

The black ones have no points on top of them, so we know they’re the black pieces.

The rest of the pieces have different shapes.

You can identify the pieces by the differences, here’s the two rooks, the two knights, the two bishops, the king and the queen.

As far as the platform where chess is played, the raised squares are black in color and the non-raised ones are wooden, you can differentiate the squares by feeling them though your fingers and know that you are playing the game right.

The pieces are all attached to the board, so that when you feel them with your fingers they don’t come off the places they’re placed in.

This is how you play the game of chess in an inclusive way.

(Scenes showing how to separate the pieces from the board and putting them back in the box.)

(An inclusive game of Criss Cross)

This is the Braille version of the popular Snakes & Ladders game, where the numbers are printed in Braille, like 46, 47, 48.

This is how you can play it.

And this is the game of Ludo.

This also has input in Braille.

(Plays Ludo.)

Six…One.

(Playing continues.)

More FAQs

Familiarize yourself with and expand your vocabulary of disability-related terminology! 
M - Modifications
P - Polio
T - Training
I - Individual Lesson Plan
crossmenu Skip to content
Send this to a friend