Choosing a Clock for People Who are Blind or Visually Impaired

Contributed by the Chicago Lighthouse Tools For Living Store

When considering a talking clock, one of the key features that is important to most is a simple to use product such as the one button approach. Also, an alarm and or hourly report is a feature that comes with most simple talking clocks. Most all are battery operated and lightweight and can easily be moved from place to place. There are some small models that can be carried in a pocket or purse for traveling. Another consideration is the volume of the talking device, an important consideration. Some come with a loud voice; a few models have a volume control or switch. Several of these inexpensive talking clocks run from about $17 to $20.

Considering a Visual Display Option

Another consideration is whether or not a visual display is desired. Several models do have a small visual display, not the ideal feature if someone is trying to look at the clock display as well as hear the time. However, some models do have large displays such as the Big 'N Bossy model.

Atomic or Self-Set Clocks

The next category to consider would be clocks that are self-set, also called atomic clocks. These clocks have many other features such as announcing the time and temperature, both indoors and outdoors, and announcing the date. They also have an alarm. These types of clocks have a visual display, although not super large. Most are battery operated, but do not travel well in a pocket or purse as they tend to be larger, about four to five inches tall. Price range for these types of devices are $35 to $50.

Voice Controlled Clocks

The third category in this type of device are clocks that are voice controlled or voice activated. Although these clocks had many features, the user may have to memorize specific commands in order to make the clock work properly. Some clocks have up to 10 or 12 commands that must be spoken specifically and clearly each time. One such function may be to set the clock with your voice, or set the alarm with your voice. Several of these clock models must be plugged in to work properly.

Advanced features of these voice controlled clocks are time, date, temperatures as well as one model that allow you to set reminders. For instance, when to take your medication or other daily reminders that can be added each day. The price range of these models would be $50 to $80.

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