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Blog posts tagged with 'visually impaired'

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™
08 October, 2018

Tony Giles - Blind World Traveler and Writer

Tony Giles travels the world solo-- and without sight!

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Tony has already visited over ten countries or more so far this year in 2018...

Tony's travel biographies are on his observations and crazy adventures as he travels the globe.  After numerous television and radio appearances, Tony enjoys every moment and claims that his sense of smell, taste and touch have let him experience all the wonders and beauties of the world.

“I can travel blind because of four things – confidence, wanting to travel, good mobility skills and good planning.  That’s all anyone needs." 

MaxiAids offers products specifically designed to assist those with special needs while promoting a healthy, active and independent lifestyle.  We specialize in product solutions for the Blind, Visually Impaired, those with Low Vision, the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Disabled, Seniors (Elderly), Children, and the Special Needs of those with Medical Conditions. Our goal is to bring you the best products available, including the latest innovations to help you live every day to the fullest!

MaxiAids has portable travel accessories for the sight challenged adventurer.  See our... 

- Portable vibrating alarm clocks
- Braille, talking, and vibrating travel alarm clocks and bed shakers
- Portable pill and vitamin organizers
- Money organizer wallets
- C-pen reader pen scanner
- Adjustable folding canes
- Inflatable travel pillow
- Identifiers and labelers
- Alerting indicators
- Braille watches

and more!

Read about Tony here...

Born in England in 1978, Tony was nine months old when it was discovered he had a rare genetic visual impairment.   Born with cone dystrophy and photophobia-- there were no color nerves in the back of his eyes.  This exposed the optic nerve to light, forcing him to spend much of his earlier life in darkness. Tony was given dark glasses to wear inside and outside until about the age of 15.  Around the age of 10, the light vision began to decrease.  On top of it all, at the age of 6, he was partially deaf in both ears.  At that time Tony was given analogue hearing aids.  Now he wears digital aids giving him back some hearing capacity in a quiet room with one-to-one conversation.  

At age 10, Tony attended boarding school for the blind and visually impaired which completely changed his life and helped him gain independence and mobility training.  He learned to use a long cane and navigate his way around, finding objects, crossing streets, going into shops, getting safely on buses and trains-- using public transportation to find locations.  His first travel adventure began on a school trip, visiting Boston, Massachusetts in 1995.  In 1998 he visited New York and Washington D.C., which lead to other trips to California, New Orleans and Hawaii with a fellow student from Australia. These trips completely sparked his desire for travel, besides the travel adventure stories told to him as a young boy by his father (who was in the merchant navy before Tony was born).  These stories excited him, planting the seed for future adventures.  Also spending time away from his family increased Tony's need to make frequent home visits, traveling back and forth independently.

Attending a mainstream college in 1998-2001 with students who were not blind and disabled, Tony was given a grant from his Local Education Authority to purchase computer equipment with speech software.  "I was a confident typist, having been taught touch typing at school, but speech screen-reading software was still at a reasonably early stage and I hadn’t been exposed too much at that point. I can touch type without speech, but having software that reads every letter I type and, the entire screen if I command it, makes studying, researching and writing much easier. I employed fellow students to help me research books, find quotations and correct my spelling and grammar. I have a scanner with speech software which allows me to read any typed text including my post (mail). This vital piece of equipment enabled me to function at the university at the same level as sighted students. I had to scan the books myself and then listen to the entire text. This took twice as long as a student reading with sight, but it made me more determined to learn."

Loving new adventures and exploring the unknown...

Between 2001-2002, Tony backpacked by himself without any aid to Australia, New Zealand, South Vietnam, and Thailand.  With complications of high blood pressure and kidney failure, he underwent a kidney transplant which took him three months to recover from.  Now in 2018, he has since traveled to over 130 countries around the world independently, not allowing his disabilities or health issues slow down his travels.  He travels nine months out of the year.

Providing mobility has been MaxiAids' priority in enhancing the independence of the blind and sight impaired.  Explore our range of mobility products, products for the blind, low vision products, low vision aids, blind accessories, and hearing amplification devices to help you to succeed in an active lifestyle. 

13 September, 2018

Choose a path to well-being!

MaxiAids provides specialized, accessible workouts for the blind and those with physical challenges

Exercise ProductsAs summer is coming to a closing, school has begun, and the weather starts to get cooler, it's important to stay fit!  We tend to spend more time indoors when winter approaches and the days get shorter.  Making exercise a part of daily life helps improve strength, energy, and an overall feeling of mental well-being, helping to combat those winter blues...

MaxiAids offers fitness CDs, DVDs and exercise equipment to enhance the lives of those with disabilities.  People who are living with blindness, low vision, hearing impairment, arthritis, medical conditions and special needs are much more prone to poor circulation and muscle tone, poor posture, and excess body weight due to lack of exercise and sitting for long periods of time. With exercise options being offered for use in the privacy of one's own home, many of these guided exercise programs as well as exercise products will help with flexibility and keep people with disabilities physically and mentally stimulated.  When it comes to limited mobility, there are alternatives to help enhance strength and endurance, while helping to deliver those happy endorphins that seem to always kick in when we stay moving and fit.

How to Exercise if You Have Limited Mobility

The desire and necessity to safely exercise at home and have options to choose from have prompted the creation of CDs, DVDs and exercise products that specialize in motivational exercises for the blind, low vision, and those with physical challenges.  Morning and evening stretches with guided meditations can be found in some of these instruction sets. Beginning Yoga for the Blind and Visually Impaired is a 5 CD set which now offers yoga to the blind and the low vision community. Gretchen Hein, a certified yoga teacher and her partner, Marty Klein, blind author, workshop leader and yoga student, combined their knowledge and health concepts to bring a motivational and inspiring introduction to the basics of yoga with 24 basic yoga poses specially designed for those with little or no sight.

RN Mary Ann Wilson's most popular routines from public television series is now offered in a 2 DVD set called Sit and Be Fit which helps improve core strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, circulation and reaction time. They are fun rehabilitative movements with lighthearted music for those who are wheelchair bound or sit most of the day. Great for seniors and those who want to strengthen their upper body to avoid weakness and stiffness.

Products such as the exercise peddlers can be used for arms and legs, allowing a safe and gentle form of low-impact aerobic exercise that is ideal for stimulating circulation, and the resistance tubing and exercise resistance bands improve balance and daily living.

Look to MaxiAids for a variety of exercise products that enhance strength, mobility and motivation, products for the blind and visually impaired, and products for mobility 

Before beginning any exercise routine, always check with a doctor.

20 August, 2018

Legally blind Christine Ha found her true passion in college out of the necessity to cook...

The legally blind Master Chef Winner of 2012 proves she's unstoppable!  Chef, writer, TV host, world traveler-- and now opening her first restaurant in 2018!

Chistine Ha

Christine Ha began to gradually lose her vision at the age of twenty from an autoimmune disease called Neuromyelitis Optica. She describes her sight as seeing vague shapes and shadows. www.theblindcook.com/about/

Out of necessity while attending college in her sophomore year, Christine decided to teach herself how to cook, burning food and making a mess all over the floor.  Eventually she began to enjoy the process, comparing cooking to science and art.  It also made her feel good to bring joy to others with her cooking.
 
She began experimenting by relying on her memories of taste and smell of her mother's cooking.  She cooked for her roommate in her first few attempts, and then began to cook for others, bringing a feeling of satisfaction and realizing her passion for it.

When the producers of Master Chef were auditioning in different cities, Christine was encouraged to try out.  Her story was an interesting one, and she felt maybe she would get through the first round.  People were interested to see how a blind person can cook.

Christine was the first blind contestant in its third season and winner in 2012.  She has since written a recipe book called "Recipes from my Home Kitchen: Asian and American Comfort Food" which is a big seller on Amazon. www.iszerotohero.com/how-to-be-stong-with-good-courage-like-christine-ha-the-inspiring-blind-chef

Christine goes by seven good lessons in her life journey:
1.  Utilize mental energy wisely
2.  Reframe negative thinking
3.  Work to achieve and set up goals
4.  Monitor progress carefully
5.  Accept discomfort for a more significant purpose
6.  Always be grateful
7.  Live in line with your values

Recently Christine announced earlier this year in 2018 she will open her first restaurant in the swanky downtown Bravery Chef Hall in Houston, Texas, calling it the Blind Goat.  www.chron.com/entertainment/restaurants-bars/art5icle/Christine-Ha-to-join-Bravery-Chef-Hall-12793570.php

It will include a menu based on Nhau cuisine-- Vietnamese drinking food.  It's her first food concept since her Master Chef win.  After traveling the world doing pop-ups, TV show appearances and interviews, Christine's dream is finally becoming a reality!

In 2014, Christine Ha received the Helen Keller Personal Achievement Award from the American Foundation for the Blind, a recognition formerly awarded to Ray Charles, Patty Duke and Stevie Wonder among others.

Christine believes in not allowing her physical challenges in life hold her back.  Instead they have taught her to pursue her passions rather than fear failure.  "Live a full life-- tend to your mental and emotional needs as well as your professional goals."  http://dailycampus.com/stories/2018/2/2/christine-ha-talks-empowerment-through-disability

When asked how Christine cooks in her kitchen, she replied that some of the items she uses are talking thermometers and talking scales when measuring out food. 

Shop all timer and thermometer   

Shop all measuring spoons & cups

Check out our products and cooking tools for food preparation to assist in the kitchen and other areas around the home or in school to improve the lives of those who are blind and vision impaired.

09 July, 2018

BrailleTell Products Available Exclusively at MaxiAids

BrailleTell is Dedicated to Advancing Accessibility of Easy-to-Use Items

BrailleTell Watches

BrailleTell products are exclusively sold by MaxiAids with the goal of improving the everyday lives of those who are blind or have low vision. BrailleTell is dedicated to advancing the accessibility of easy-to-use items that will facilitate independent living.

BrailleTell Talking Braille Watches allows its users to know the time by sound and touch through an accurate Swiss Quartz movement. Wearing this talking watch will remove the difficulty of telling the time on a traditional analog or digital watch, giving the option to hear the time for hourly chime and announcement. Now you can conveniently hear accurate time with the simple push of a button or feeling tactile markings.

Conveniently, BrailleTell braille talking watches have five different sound alarms to choose from, with the option of snoozing the alarm if needed. As braille watches do, the BrailleTell braille talking watch has raised tactile markings for blind users to tell time on their own. If you need to know the time on demand, a female voice can announce it for you.

BrailleTell has an assortment of men’s and women’s watches to choose from, in styles like gold, chrome or leather banded.

BrailleTell braille talking watches are specifically for the blind and visually impaired, meant to make everyday life easier and give users more independence.

We offer a variety of braille items designed to help the visually impaired live more active, independent lives. Among MaxiAids’ range of braille products for the blind and blind equipment are braille watches, braille clocks, and braille timers for reliable tactile timekeeping, and other blind aids for daily living. Also available are blind aids such as braille books and braille printers for easier reading and writing, as well as braille signs. Browse our braille products and our other blind equipment inventory.

08 July, 2018

VocaTime Talking Watch is the Ultimate Independent Aid

Buy VocaTime Dual-Voice Synchronizing Watches at MaxiAids

VocaTime Watches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Talking watches can provide independence in your daily life, and MaxiAids’ selection of VocaTime Talking Watches is the ultimate independent aid. Available in a variety of men’s, women’s and children’s styles and colors, VocaTime Talking Watches are perfect for the deaf, blind and visually impaired.

VocaTime Talking Watches coordinate voice commands with the watch’s hour and minute hands automatically. What makes the VocaTime watch so unique is that it perfectly matches the voice with the watch’s hands for accurate timekeeping. There’s also a Dual Voice feature, which enables you to choose between a male or female voice. 

Not only does MaxiAids carry sophisticated men’s styles and fashion-forward women’s styles, we also have an Adjustable EZ Latch Cloth Band available to fit children’s wrists. VocaTime children’s bands come in a variety of fun colors that are suitable for children’s tastes, such as purple, pink and blue.

VocaTime Talking Watches, which are exclusively available at MaxiAids, allow for the utmost convenience with their single-battery and one-button operation. If you know your voice won’t be used for an extended period of time, there’s a sleep mode setting that can be turned on to save battery life. If your VocaTime watch isn’t running when you receive it, it may already be in sleep mode. To make active, press the S1 button for a few seconds or until the hands begin moving. 

You can always call 1-800-522-6294 during regular business hours to talk to one of our knowledgeable, experienced customer care representatives about VocaTime Watches, or our large inventory of Talking Watches. We can also answer any questions you may have about any of the products for independent living that MaxiAids carries.

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.

23 April, 2018

Blind USC Football Player Inspires with Story about Going Blind at Age 12

When Jack Olson was 8 months old, he was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the retina. This diagnosis would later cause him to go blind by the age of 12, a setback that he’s turned into an inspiring story.

When Olson was just 10 months old, he had his left eye removed. By age 12, both eyes had to be removed. “I found out I was going to go blind on October 1," Olson, now 21, told CNN (https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/04/health/vital-signs-football-jake-olson-eye-tumor-retinoblastoma-blind/index.html). "November 12 was my surgery, so there's a month and a half there of knowing I'm going to go blind. And that thought tormented me."

During his last days of having vision, Olson said all he wanted to do was watch the USC football team, and he was welcomed with open arms by Coach Pete Carroll. Olson called it “liberating” that he was able to take his mind off losing his sight while on the sidelines of the football field; a field that he would someday play on himself.

“Once I went blind, it was almost this kind of realization of, 'OK, I'm blind,' " he explained. "'There's no way of reversing it. It is my life. I don't have to worry about going blind anymore, because I am blind. Now let's deal with it. Let's focus on living my normal life.' I was determined to not let it stop me."

After starting on his high school varsity football team during his junior and senior years, Olson joined the USC football team as a long snapper when he was a freshman. Although he has to work harder than his teammates to overcome his disability, his roommate and manager Danielle Hennes said, "To be honest, I've really only seen him get down once or twice.”

Olson’s inspirational story has many more chapters to come. "I think that sports have given me a platform ... so I could prove myself to others," he said. “I can go out there and have a place where I can show others that yes, I'm blind, but that doesn't mean I don't belong out here or that doesn't mean I can't perform out here."

On September 2, during a game against Western Michigan, Olson proved that by executing a snap. The crowd and his teammates went wild, causing him to become a viral story that will serve as inspiration for years to come.

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

23 April, 2018

New Research Suggests Eye Patch Can Improve Vision in People with Severe Age-Related Vision Loss

New research published in the journal Science Translational Medicine has suggested a revolutionary eye patch can improve vision for those who have severe age-related vision loss. 

Dry Macular Degeneration

What is dry macular degeneration? This disease is common amongst those aged 65 or older and affects 1.75 people in the United States. Dry macular degeneration causes central vision to deteriorate as we age, which essentially makes it impossible to focus on the people, text or objects before us. However, peripheral vision is unaffected in dry macular degeneration, meaning going blind is usually not a factor in this disease.

The wet form of this disease happens more suddenly, caused by the area under the retina leaking blood vessels. Dry macular degeneration happens over time, which is why it’s affected as we age. The thinning of the macula in dry macular degeneration comprises patients’ direct vision, which can impact people’s driving and overall quality of life.

The Experiment

Researchers from the University of Southern California came to this conclusion after placing the 6x4mm patch coated with healthy human embryonic stem cells on four people with advanced dry macular degeneration. The patch was placed on the back of the eye, on the tissue near the eye’s optic nerve, which resulted in impulses being sent to the brain to create images.

The four participants were found to have improved or stabilized vision by the end of the experiment, which lasted one year. All participants received the patch on just one eye so that researchers could compare the results to the untreated eye. Researchers found that the treated eye saw a stabilization of the disease while the untreated eye became worse over time. One of the participants’ eyesight improved so much that she was able to read 24 letters on an eye chart after the experiment, compared to seven letters before it.

Researchers plan to conduct a larger experiment that will test this pioneering patch on patients at earlier stages of dry macular degeneration.

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

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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

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