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Blog posts tagged with 'Low Vision'

Discover the latest innovations in the low-vision, low-hearing, and mobility industry, as well as those must-have products to enhance your day-to-day life. Our Independent-Living Blog will help make daily life a little less of a struggle and a bit more pleasurable with assistive products, suggestions, and advice. MaxiAids Helps You Do It . . . Yourself™
12 August, 2018

Top Ten Products for Back to School Shopping

It's time to think about back to school supplies and products that will help you succeed for a productive and stress-free school year.  For students with low vision, hearing impairment, and other special needs and challenges, we offer a wide selection of helpful product aids to insure confidence, independence and success inside and out of the classroom.

At MaxiAids, we'd like to suggest our top ten back to school product categories that will allow you to choose items for a much easier transition in establishing timely schedules, doing school work, and communicating effectively.  Read about our low vision back to school products, products for the blind and visually impaired, vision aids, hearing impaired devices, alerting devices and more.

1.  TALKING WATCHES AND VIBRATING WATCHES

Watches
Never be late for a class.  Developing strong time management skills will help lead to college success!  We offer a large variety of watch styles and features for blind and low vision students, as well as hearing impaired students.  Our popular talking watches for the blind and visually impaired come in many assortments to choose from.  Talking watches have clear time announcements, alarm settings, time, date and day of the week announcements, multi-language watches and Braille watches for the blind. There are vibrating watches with alarms, digital alarm watches, digital analog watches, silent alarm watches, and watches with big numbers.  Click on a link and explore! 

Shop All Watches

Shop All Talking Watches

Shop All Vibrating Watches

2.  TALKING ALARMS, HEARING IMPAIRED ALARM CLOCKS, SILENT ALARM CLOCKS, VIBRATING ALARM CLOCKS WITH BED SHAKERS

Clocks

You won't oversleep with these vibrating alarm clocks, talking alarm clocks and bed shakers.  If you share a dorm room, the bed shaker alarm clock won't wake anyone else up but you.  Talking clocks will tell you the time at a push of a button, or by alarm.  There are so many to choose from for your specific, individual needs...  loud alarm clocks, vibrating alarm clocks, vibrating wristband alarm clocks, talking clocks, talking alarms, silent alarm clocks, sonic bomb alarm clocks, voice alarm clocks, and analog alarm clocks... ideal clocks for the visually impaired, blind and hearing impaired students. Choose a clock that will wake you up on time and keep you on schedule!

Shop All Clocks

Shop Vibrating Alarm Clocks

Shop Talking Alarm Clocks

3.  TALKING CALCULATORS

Calculators
For the blind and visually impaired, we have low vision and talking calculators that read out loud accurate calculating results.  Choose from low vision talking scientific calculators, low vision scientific calculator with speech output, graphing calculators, talking calculators with alarm, English/Spanish calculators, business calculators, statistical talking calculators, calculators with ear buds, and calculators with repeat key.  There is a calculator for your specific subject matter.

Shop Talking Calculators

Shop Low Vision Calculators

4.  MAGNIFIERS AND READERS (ELECTRONIC MAGNIFIERS, HANDHELD VIDEO MAGNIFIERS, SCREEN READERS AND SCANNERS)

Scanners and Video Magnifiers
View text and photos more clearly.  Scan and hear documents.  Hear a natural sounding voice read back to you as you type. These electronic magnifiers, handheld video magnifiers, screen readers and scanners make it easier to see or hear. Magnify important information you do not want to miss. MaxiAids has low vision magnifiers which include screen magnifiers, page magnifiers, magnifiers for reading, electronic video magnifiers, computer screen magnifier glass, text-to-speech (reads text aloud), text-and-image screen magnification, intelligent screen reader with speech and Braille access for the blind or visually impaired.  Hear text read aloud with our scanners and book readers.  For the visually impaired or those with low vision, we have text-to-speech players, scanners that scan documents and will read back to you in different speeds and languages.  These low vision products are important, essential items to keep you on a successful school journey.  Choose the one that is best to help you with your academic success!  

Shop Video Magnifiers

Shop Reading Machines

5.  AMPLIFIERS FOR HEARING

Personal Amplifiers
Improve speech understanding and amplify incoming sound.  Choose from a variety of amplifiers that are light and portable for hearing impaired students.  These amplifiers will help you to succeed academically and socially by being part of the conversation.   Search our website for products to enhance your school experience. 

Shop Personal Amplifiers

6.  VOICE RECORDERS

Voice Recorders
Dictate, transcribe, record-- your notes can be heard loud and clear and played back as needed.  They're perfect for recording class lectures and speeches.  Portable voice recorders can go with you anywhere.  Look at the variety of voice recorders to customize your individual recording needs in school.

Shop Voice Recorders  

7.  TABLE LAMPS/LED LAMPS/MAGNIFYING LAMPS
Reduce glare, eyestrain, improve contrast, illuminate papers and work, magnify projects.  Choose from an assortment of lamps and lamp magnifiers to help achieve the right lighting and results needed for accomplishing your academic goals. 

Shop Table and Desk Lamps

Shop Magnifying Lamps

8.  KEYBOARDS
Every student has their own unique, individual needs.  Here at MaxiAids we love to provide products to make your school and college experience as smooth as possible.  We have chosen a variety of keyboards that are specially designed to meet those special needs.  Choose from our large assortment of keyboards and accessories.  There are wireless, Bluetooth technology keyboards, keyboards with large print lettering and high contrast keys, yellow keyboard, Braille keyboard, Braille keyboard overlays, big key keyboards, backlit keyboards, keyboard PC without monitor, keyboards for single handed users, left handed mouse user keyboard, Maltron keyboards for dual handed or left handed, and virtual keyboard.  These keyboards are designed for your specific typing needs for more efficiency, speed and accuracy.

Shop All Keyboards

9.  WRITING RELATED PRODUCTS (BOLD WRITERS, C-PEN READER PEN SCANNER, C-PEN EXAM READER PEN, LOW VISION PAPER, WRITING GUIDES)

Reading and Writing
Easy to see bold writer pens are perfect for those with low vision and the visually impaired.  C-Pen reader pen scanner and C-Pen exam reader pen are pens that read printed text to speech.  The text to speech exam reader allows you to take an exam in the classroom with head phones plugged into the pen.  They're portable and allow for easy reading and listening.  Low vision paper contains bold black lines and helps for easier viewing and writing.  Writing guides help with writing accuracy and guidance.  Look to MaxiAids for all your reading and writing challenges!

Shop All Writing Pens

Shop the C-Pen Reader Pen Scanner

Shop the C-Pen Exam Reader Pen

Shop All Paper

Shop All Writing Guides

10.  LAP DESKS AND BOOK HOLDERS

Lap Desks and Book Holders
Our lap desks and book holders provide comfort and better positioning for reading, writing and studying.  Promote better posture, less neck pain, and a more relaxed feeling when concentration is required.  Lap desks and book holders are perfect for when you want to be in a more relaxed position while laying down, lounging around or in a sit up position.

Shop All Lap Desks

Shop All Book Holders

Look to MaxiAids for a confident, independent and successful school year!

02 August, 2018

College Success Tips for Students Faced with Disability Challenges

https://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/college-resource-center/resources-for-students-with-disabilities/ 

Easing the transition to college can be stressful, especially when faced with added challenges.  But also it can be exciting and rewarding when you are prepared and plan ahead.

For success and self-sufficiency within your college experience, it's important to find out about what accommodations and resources are available to you.  Residential advisors know how to serve all students, including those with disabilities.  It's important to know your rights and what responsibilities the college has to all disabled and physically challenged students.

To ease your way into dorm life, it's imperative to develop new skills before entering college.  It's a good idea to practice doing laundry, preparing food, managing money, etc.  Know how to do these basic skills beforehand will alleviate frustration.

Create a class schedule that allows you plenty of time to get from class to class.  Trace your path for familiarity and a less stressful experience.  Explore your strengths and difficulties and make a list.  Share your disability with your professors and investigate what assistive technology the college can provide to you before you attend your chosen school.  http://www.going-to-college.org/campuslife/technology.html

There are many products to assist you in the success of your college experience, helping you become learning independent, self-sufficient and confident.  After knowing what technology your college provides depending on your special needs, you can look to MaxiAids to further help you along in finding the right products and tools to help you achieve the learning success you dream of.

Blind & Low Vision Products  

Products for the Hearing Impaired & Deaf

Computer Products      

Mobility Products

Look for our 2018 back to school sale!

25 June, 2018

Take Your Medication On Time with Reizen’s Auto Pill Automatic Pill Dispenser

Automatic Pill Dispenser Guarantees Medication Compliance

Reizen Auto Pill

Life can get busy, which can interfere with taking medications on time. Medication can sometimes be the last thing on our minds when we have other daily responsibilities to worry about. Enter: Reizen’s Auto Pull Automatic Pill Dispenser.

Rely on this automatic pill dispenser to take your medication properly and on time by scheduling your daily doses with its built-in programmable timer. Created specifically to cater to the elderly, Alzheimer's patients, the low vision community and patients with complicated daily medical regimes, Reizen’s Auto Pill Automatic Pill Dispenser will dispense the right pills at the right time for your convenience.

Store up to six daily doses, holding each dose for up to two weeks. When it’s time to take your medication, the automatic pill dispenser will set off an alarm. Depending on the amount of medication you need to take, the auto pill dispenser has up to six alarms to alert you to take each and every medication. It’s important that your medication is stored and scheduled correctly, because the Reizen Auto Pill Automatic Pill Dispenser will only dispense the designated pill and dose it’s scheduled for.

At dose time, a flashing red LED signal and a loud beeping signal – available in three tones and six customizable alarms to choose from – will go off to notify you that it’s time to take your medication. If the medication is skipped, the auto pill dispenser will keep it safe in a secured locking system to prevent over-medication.

The Reizen Auto Pill Automatic Pill Dispenser allows for more independence and reduces the need for personnel to distribute medication. This product is perfect for both in-home care and for large caregiver facilities.

Chock full of products designed to help you with your medication, this section of our website will eliminate the worry of accidental over or under-medicating. Whether you take your medicine via pill, liquid or shot, we have the perfect item that can help you remember when to take it or help you administer it. Please take some time and review these categories to see how we can help you make medication an easier process.

25 June, 2018

People Under 30 Risk Going Deaf From Listening to Their Headphones Too Loudly

Warning to those who are under 30 and listen to loud music through their headphones regularly: you’re running the risk of going deaf.

Audiologist Robin Syed from London’s Central Middlesex hospital told the UK’s The Sun (https://nypost.com/2018/06/04/people-under-30-risk-going-deaf-from-their-headphones/) that extended exposure to sound at decibels that high is risky over time and precautions should be taken to lessen the risk of problems later in life.

It’s commonplace for under 30-year-olds to crank up the sound on their headphones, especially the cheap variety that forces the volume to go up even further, often peaking at 120-decibels. This sound level is equivalent to a jet taking off, and can cause hearing loss, tinnitus or other hearing-related issues over time.

“It’s not hard to imagine what prolonged exposure to that noise is going to do. The sort of hearing loss we are treating today would have largely seen in the over 50s, 10 or 20 years ago,” Syed explained. “By the time people come to us the damage has been done. We can only advise on how to prevent further hearing loss.”

It’s advised that listening to loud music over 100-decibels should only be listened to for 15 minutes at a time, but with the popularity of concerts and nightclubs, young people are far exceeding that time period and therefore, putting themselves at risk.

With an entire generation at risk, it’s important for young people to be educated on how to prevent hearing loss over time. Syed suggested placing warning labels on headphone packages to increase the education of hearing loss risks. “There has to be some sort of regulation brought in to make sure all headphones are up to an acceptable standard,” she said.

Check out these products that are also improving the lives of people who are hearing impaired.

25 February, 2018

Blind Veteran Helps Social Media Users Interact with Visually Impaired Community

Rob Long is a 30-year-old blind veteran who lost both his eyes during combat in Afghanistan. Long, now a Brazilian jiujitsu competitor, went viral with a tweet that helps people understand how blind users navigate the social media world. The tweet introduced the concept of image captioning capabilities, which reads blind users like himself descriptions of photos posted to social media platforms.

Long describes himself as an avid social media user, using platforms like Twitter and Facebook regularly, just like most of his peers. In fact, he told BuzzFeed (https://www.buzzfeed.com/tanyachen/what-its-like-navigating-social-media-as-a-blind-person?utm_term=.cb6RPGjVa#.qs0aq4YLn) that technology has "raised my standard of living” in recent years, due to the emergence of image captioning tools. Long described how to use these tools in viral tweet read by millions in early January 2018.

 

The tweet was read by over 24 million people and retweeted 146,000 times to date. It introduced image captioning to many social media users who weren’t aware it existed, which he said “helps normalize social media use” for blind users. All users have to do is enable the "compose image description" feature in Settings > Accessibility, then they’re given the option to write descriptions for any images they tweet. Blind users are then able to get a description of the image transcribed aloud to them when they scroll through their Twitter feed. Twitter describes the feature under Learn More: “When you Tweet photos using the Twitter app for iOS or Android, or on twitter.com, you have the option to compose a description of the images so the content is accessible to people who are visually impaired.”

Long continued to tell BuzzFeed, "At the moment I scroll through Twitter and Facebook and I don't feel blind. I know I don't get exactly what everyone else is getting but I don't feel like I'm missing out or I don't understand the context of a post."

While Twitter is the easiest social media platform for blind users to interact with because of its use of image captioning, Facebook is a close second. Long explained that Facebook uses AI bots to interpret photos for him, although the technology hasn’t been perfected yet. One platform Long says doesn’t have any image captioning capabilities or AI bots to interpret photos is the visual-heavy Instagram.

While image captioning has given Long a new sense of independence in today’s social media-dependent world, his introduction of the tool to many new people allows us to do our part to help the low vision community interact on social media platforms

Take a look at these products that are currently improving the lives of people who are blind or have low vision.

04 February, 2018

Eye Tips from Lighthouse Guild for Low Vision Awareness Month

Here are some everyday eye tips in honor of February being Low Vision Awareness Month! Keeping eyes healthy is important at any age, beginning with young children. Lighthouse Guild, the leading not-for-profit vision, and healthcare organization are advising everyone to schedule regular screenings and comprehensive eye examinations.

Lighthouse Guild offers the following tips:

Get regular eye exams.
Vision screenings and eye exams are critical to maintaining eye health. Comprehensive dilated eye exams for adults can help detect glaucoma, macular degeneration and other serious eye diseases that can lead to blindness. Vision screenings can help detect problems, such amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, in children.
 Get high-quality eye charts for checking visual acuity here.

Speak up if your vision changes.
If you notice blurry spots, blurred vision, halos surrounding lights, eyes that itch or burn, black spots or "floaters," double vision, tearing or watering eyes, or if you find yourself squinting or having trouble reading or watching television, it's time to make an appointment. An eye doctor should be made aware of any gradual changes in your vision so the necessary action can be taken to maintain eye health.

Seek urgent care.
Seek urgent care if you experience sudden and/or severe eye pain, sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes, light flashes, or if your eyes turn bright red. Any of these could indicate a severe problem and should be addressed immediately.

Get UV-protected sunglasses. 
Tinted glasses will not necessarily protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. It is important to get good quality eyewear that provides both UVA and UVB coverage to protect your eyes properly. 
Get UV glasses here.

Give your eyes a rest from the effects of digital eyestrain. 
This type of eye strain—also known as computer vision syndrome—doesn't permanently damage eyesight, but symptoms could include burning or tired eyes, headaches, neck pain, fatigue, blurred or double vision. To rest your eyes, it's good to look up from your work every 20 minutes, focus on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds (the 20-20-20 rule).
 Get your computer, phone, and tablet light protectors here.

Dr. Laura Sperazza, Director of Low Vision Services at Lighthouse Guild, says, "The most important thing you can do to protect your vision is to get an eye exam.  If you find out you're in the early stages of an eye disease, your eye care professional will help you maintain the highest possible level of eye health and visual function."

Informational article: Lighthouse Guild/PRNewswire

Product links: MaxiAids

Photo courtesy: Allaboutvision.com

07 January, 2018

Low vision, Blindness Population Expected to Double in Next 30 Years

 

In the next 30 years, the blind and low vision population is expected to double amongst people 45 and older, according to new research from Johns Hopkins University. Researchers hope this new data will influence lawmakers to meet the growing demand for low vision services in the U.S. The new study was published last quarter in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Data about the low vision and blind population haven’t been recorded in nearly 20 years. The last United States Census data was collected in 2000. This new study, called Estimates of Incidence and Prevalence of Visual Impairment, Low Vision, and Blindness in the United States, examined findings from 6,016 participants who participated in the 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. However, researchers did not account for information on any visual field testing or from institutionalized individuals.

Lead author of the study, Tiffany Chan, OD, explained, “These updated results may help policymakers plan for the future and decide how to allocate resources to help people with loss of vision, an often life-changing issue. We expect a greater need for services for those patients with low vision as the aging population increases over the next several decades."

Out of the 6,016 people surveyed, 28.4% were younger than 18, 39.1% were 18 to 44 years old and 32.3% were 45 or older. The study looked at the prevalence and incident rates of low vision and blindness in the U.S., meaning the number of current cases and the number of cases that will develop over time. In the 45 and older age group, the estimated prevalence of best-corrected visual acuity less than 20/40 is expected to increase from 3,894,406 in 2017 to 7,594,797 in 2050. Meanwhile, the incidence of best-corrected visual acuity less than 20/40 in this age group is expected to increase from 481,970 new cases in 2017 to 1,006,711 in 2050. The number of cases of legal blindness will increase from 134,002 in 2017 to 279,900 in 2050.

Low vision and blindness is often a life-changing impairment, with the potential to interfere with everyday activities. Researchers hope this study will ignite change for people who need vision services.

Until then, the blind and low vision community can confidently depend on MaxiAids for all of their vision-based needs. An industry-leading product provider for the blind and visually impaired, MaxiAids will continue to serve this community and offer independence-enabling products and services. 

Take a look at these products that are currently improving the lives of people who are blind or have low vision.

05 December, 2017
02 November, 2017

Blind Runner to Compete in New York Marathon Using Groundbreaking Technology

A blind New York Marathon runner is relying on the use of groundbreaking technology to get him across the finish line rather than an aide, according to ITV.

Simon Wheatcroft, who's been legally blind since 17 due to a degenerative eye disease, will reportedly use a device that will alert him when he's too close to other runners and warn him about obstacles ahead.

The device is called Wayband. It's an armband that uses GPS and emits vibrations that will guide Wheatcroft right and left during the marathon. A second device, worn on his chest, will be responsible for warning him about obstructions in his path.

Wheatcroft opened up about the trial and error period he endured in preparing to run this 26.2-mile race without a human guide. He told ITV he encountered a number of issues along the way, including some injury.

"When you can't see where you're running you have to assume the environment is constant," he said. "That has seen me running into burnt-out cars that have been left in the middle of the pavement and injuring myself quite badly."

He's hopeful that in being the first blind person to complete the New York Marathon without a guide, he'll be able to help others and advance technology created to help the visually impaired. "I'm not doing these things just so I can be the first to do this and the first to do that, what I'm interested in is making sure this technology exists to help everybody," Wheatcroft told ITV.

He added that he's "excited, nervous and a little scared" for the big day, which kicks off early on November 5th, Wheatcroft anticipates that he'll be overwhelmed with emotion when he's through with the race.

Click the links below and view our selection of life-changing products that enable independence for those who are visually impaired!

iGlasses Ultrasonic Mobility Aid- Clear Lens - Detects Objects to Help You Walk with Confidence

Ray Electronic Mobility Aid for the Blind - Great to Use Along with Your Cane for the Blind

iMerciv BuzzClip Wearable Mobility Aid for the Blind - Assistive Device for the Visually Impaired

Video Courtesy: ODN News

18 October, 2017

New Developments: Enabling Vision for Individuals who are Blind

Enabling blind people to see again is the dream of many neuroscientists. We still have a long way to go to make this happen, but we have also made a lot of progress over the last twenty years, says Richard van Wezel of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behavior. He presented his research into the development of a 'prosthetic for blind people' on the occasion of World Sight Day (October 12th), an annual event that focuses attention on blindness and vision loss. Van Wezel and his colleague Marcel van Gerven belong to the NESTOR consortium, consisting of participants from a range of disciplines including neurobiologists and engineers specialized in microelectronics and wireless apparatus. NESTOR, which received a grant last November from NWO Applied and Engineering Science AES, is working on the development of a prosthesis that uses micro-electrodes to stimulate the brains of blind people to evoke phosphines. "These are phosphines, comparable to the stars you see when you stand up too quickly. Blind people can also perceive them," Van Wezel explains. "We use electrodes to stimulate the brain in such a way that blind people can have a limited form of vision to see what is happening in the world around them." It is a potential solution for people who have become blind because their eyes or optical nerves are no longer functional. "For this group, stimulating the visual cortex is the only option for restoring vision."

Evoking phosphines

"The beauty of the visual cortex is that it is organized very logically. In a sense, the visual cortex contains a map that we can use to evoke phosphines very precisely at certain locations. Even with a limited number of electrodes, you can create all kinds of patterns. We are still at a very early stage and are working with experimental animals, but our ultimate objective is to make this possible for blind people." Within the project, Van Wezel is focusing primarily on psychophysics: understanding the relationships between stimuli and perception. "I am especially interested in how much information you need to see certain things. We know that even a small number of moving points is sufficient for people to see the contours of a person or the layout of a room. For someone who sees nothing at all, even this limited vision can be extremely valuable."

Positive expectations

For Van Wezel, the cochlear implant is one of the great success stories in neuroscience. "Worldwide, more than 300,000 people have benefited from cochlear implants, but I expect it will be several decades before visual implants become so widespread. Many attempts have been made, but few of them have succeeded." Nevertheless, the researcher is optimistic. "Our starting position now is much better than 20 years ago, when trials with brain implants usually failed. Much more is now technically possible, due in part to artificial intelligence and developments in deep learning. Another positive note is that we now understand much more about the functioning of the brain and the retina."

In the near future, Van Wezel also expects that gene therapy will provide solutions for certain types of hereditary eye diseases caused by a genetic mutation resulting in blindness. "At present, a great deal of research is being done with injections of genetic material into the eye to stop eye diseases. The developments are promising." However, Van Wezel argues that the greatest gains can currently be achieved in developing countries. "The majority of people in the world who are currently going blind are from developing countries in which no money or suitable treatments are available, for cataracts for example. This disorder requires relatively simple surgery, which is widely available in developed countries."

Recognizing facial expressions

Another project, known as Sixth Sense, is a very practical application of the type of research being conducted by Van Wezel and his colleagues. In cooperation with the University of Twente, a belt has been developed that can be worn around the abdomen and is linked to a smartphone and a camera that recognizes facial expressions. "Based on the emotion shown in the face of the conversation partner, the wearer feels certain vibrations. Half of our communication is nonverbal, and cannot be perceived by people who are blind or have low vision. A tool like this enables them to sense emotions that they cannot perceive otherwise."

Check out these products that are also improving the lives of people who are blind or have low vision.

Provided by: Radboud University