Technology for assisting vision impaired adults

I have struggled to find tech help for using technology with a vision impairment. I have found some reading apps, but they do not work with ebooks, and the when I go to "accessibility" on my iPad to try and use voice over, the voice over navigation is so bad on an iPad, it is basically unusable. If I can make something a pdf then no problem but I think that they are trying to make ebooks difficult to copy so it is very hard to make a pdf or other format out of them. I just want a voice to read my ebook to me, is that too much to ask? So many more books are in ebook format compared to audiobook, it would really exponentially increase the books us blindies have access to.

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Re: Technology for assisting vision impaired adults

Technology is now a big part of the society and luckily it is still advancing. It has become an integral part in our life by bringing so much benefits to us.
Relegating the traditional blind man?s walking stick to the past, a recently developed wearable device in the form of a ring seeks to change the way the blind can move around,which is Live Braille Mini.

This mobility device can help a blind person navigate his way by sending haptic feedback or vibrations through the sense of touch. It is the only fully wearable ETA (Electronic Travel Aid) that allows you to simply swipe your hand in the air to know your environment in an instant, spot obstacles and walk much faster.

Re: Technology for assisting vision impaired adults

Hi Wynne,
Claria, the company I work for, has just launched an app for people with low vision. Claria Zoom offers an easy-to-read interface on your smartphone along with more than 20 functionalities redesigned for low vision. Among them, there is an audiobook reader that will enable you to read any epub/daisy book and to activate speech to let the phone read for you! For more information, you can visit:

You may also want to check out other cell phone possibilities as many come with accessible features. Check out this series of articles:

I hope this will be helpful!

Have a great day,
Salom? from Claria

Re: Technology for assisting vision impaired adults

Hi Wynne-I am by no means an expert on access technologies but I can share some information on how the blind and visually impaired can access books and information. It would be helpful to know a bit more about your situation ...what is your vision like?, have you had vision rehabilitation services? Have you ever met with an Access Technology Specialist? These services and professionals could be very helpful in finding just the right tools and devices to fit your needs. If all you want is a source for audio books, I recommend applying to the Talking Book Program which provides unlimited free reading material for the blind and visually impaired. I LOVE my Talking Books and could not live without them! I use the BARD mobile version of this program and can browse the library and download books right to my iphone and begin listening in a matter of minutes! And the book selection is quite up-to-date and exhaustive. Please take a moment to check out what VisionAware has on this topic here:

This article talks about other reading tools and options like Bookshare:

Here is a bit of info on assistive technology in general. You will find mention of several great resources here to learn more about it such as AcessWorld and Hadley School for the Blind courses. Also note the products mentioned like NVDA and System Access which are FREE text to speech

Well, this should get you started on your quest for accessible reading tools! If you have not received services for the visually impaired yet, you may want to use VisionAware's Directory of Services to locate agencies in your area. Narrow your search by putting in your state. You will find many helpful organizations and services including the Talking Book libraries. Here is the link:

all the best to you, Audrey

Re: Technology for assisting vision impaired adults

I am not sure if I can fully answer your question because technology help for the blind can be very broad. But it appears that you are dealing with iDevices and e-books so I will start from there. I have an iPhone and when I have questions about my device I contact the accessibility line for Apple. Here is there toll free number and website address:
Apple Accessibility hotline

They help people with vision and hearing impairments. Perhaps starting there will be of help. I have also gotten help going directly in my local Apple store; but I would caution making an appointment first! The toll free hotline assisted me with the appointment making too.

Now, as far as e-books, I don’t read them very much. I use NLS and Bookshare. I have read books through in the past. So, I am sorry I can’t assist as much with that part of your question.

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