Low Vision Aids
This term describes anything that helps you to make better use of your sight. You can get support from your local Eye Clinic to have an assessment to find out what aids may benefit you. These items can usually be loaned.
Daily Living Aids
There are a number of different aids that can help with many daily tasks, whether it’s cooking, reading and writing, telling the time, managing your health, watching TV, lighting, using computers or keeping in touch with people. For full details on what products are available visit contact Action for Blind People by telephoning 0117 953 7750 or visit the following web page: www.rnib.org.uk/shop
This guide covers topics such as which colours to use when decorating, using tactile switches, making use of rails and security upgrades. The guide can be found here.
These are to assist with getting around and can require training depending on how much support you require. This training can be obtained from your local authority.
Protective eyewear - It is advisable to wear UV eyeshields when light or glare is causing discomfort.
Guide canes - A guide cane can be used across the lower part of the body for protection, or using a scanning technique to check for kerbs and steps.
Symbol canes - Symbol canes are intended to be used only to indicate sight loss and to advise the public that the user has a degree of sight loss.
Long canes - The long cane should only be used by people who have attended a specialist course. These courses train the user on how to use the long cane to obtain a high level of safe and independent travel.
Walking sticks - Walking sticks are intended as a means of support for people with sight loss and not as an aid to mobility.
Being able to use computers, landline and mobile phones and other gadgets for work, leisure and keeping in contact are key tools for blind and partially sighted people. Computers can be adapted to provide large print on screen or read outs in synthetic speech or Braille. There are also machines that will read printed material, making accessing letters and other personal documents easier and more confidential. Computers do cost money, both for the hardware (the computer itself) and the software (for example, a JAWS screen reader). This can be hundreds of pounds, though if you are a participant in the Access to Work scheme or an ex-serviceman or woman you may be eligible for assistance - for further help or support with sight loss, please call your local Action team or visit us at our website: www.actionforblindpeople.org.uk
The following organisations can provide you with help and support with finding and using aids and equipment.
RNIB Helpline: 0303 123 9999
Action for Blind People
Telephone: 0117 9537750
Telephone: 0845 372 7404