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Assistive Devices & Equipment

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Introduction

Assistive Devices or Assistive Aids are Equipment which can assist Persons With Disabilities to to complete day-to-day activities, perform tasks, play sports, or enjoy hobbies. There are a number of different types of these Assistive Devices for Persons who are Blind or have Visual Impairments, some are considered "Low Tech" and inexpensive while others are more "High Tech" and can be more expensive. These Assistive Devices or Equipment are categorized according to their use and include Accessories; Computers & Electronic Aids; Household & Cooking Aids; Educational Aids; Glasses & Eye Protection; Mobility Aids; Reading Aids; Sports & Hobby Aids and Writing & Printing Aids.

As there are a wide variety of different types of Visual Impairments, there are also a variety of different options and solutions available in South Africa, which are available from Organizations & Companies such as  South African National Council for the Blind and Edit Microsystems. Many of these companies can also advise you on what equipment would best suit your needs and can also teach persons and offer support to them on how to best use the equipment that they supply. To view more information about these Assistive Devices and the Organizations & Companies that provide them, read the article below or view the menu on the left.

Edit Microsystems: is a leading supplier of educational and corporate technology solutions in Southern Africa. Edit MicrosystemsEdit Microsystems aims to find alternative, cutting-edge ways to improve teaching and learning in the education sector and to improve business communication in the corporate sector. Edit Microsystems provides services to educators; education departments; corporate social investors; parents; other government departments and corporate managers. Through on-going support and professional development, Edit Microsystems can help find the right solution for your particular environment.

Edit Microsystems have various branches around South Africa including in Cape Town. You can contact them on: Tel: (021) 433 2520 or email them at: info@editmicro.co.za. You can also visit them at their offices in Cape Town at: Unit 601,The Point Shopping Centre (Galleria), 76 Regent Road, Sea Point, Cape Town, 8005 or visit their web site to find out more: www.editmicro.co.za

AccessoriesBraille Watches

Many Persons who are Blind or have Visual Impairments require Accessories to assist them on a daily basis. Accessories are those small Assistive Devices that are used around the house by Persons With Visual Impairments to become more independent. They include products such as Automatic Pill Reminder, Pill Splitters & Pill Organizers; Braille or Talking Tape Measures; Money Template & Coin Selectors; Pen Friends; Talking Calculators; Signature Guides; Braille or Talking Watches & Clocks, etc. These products often include braille markings on them to make them easier to use by Persons who are Blind. Below is a list of some of this equipment, which is available in South Africa from organizations and companies such as Edit Microsystems. To find out more about these Accessories & others, click the "Accessories " button on the left or the link below.

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Computers & Electronic Aids

Computers & Electronic Aids are the Assistive Devices that are used by Persons who are Blind or have a Visual Impairment, which enables them to be able to operate equipment such as Computers, Cellphones, Tablets, etc. These Computers & Electronic Devices are extremely useful equipment for persons who are Blind or have a Visual Impairment. They are important tools of integration and can be used for a number of purposes including: Work, Reading, Research, Entertainment and Socializing, to mention just a few. These Computer & Electronic Aids are therefore extremely powerful tools for the Blind, or Visually Impaired and include products such as:

  • Screen Readers
  • Screen Magnifiers
  • Refreshable Braille Displays
  • Braille & Enlarged Keyboards, etc.

The availability of this equipment is increasing thanks to Organizations and Companies such as Edit Microsystems who have made concerted efforts to make sure that this equipment is available for the Blind in South Africa. To find out more about these Computers & Electronic Aids, click the "Computer & Electronic Aids" button on the left or on the"Read More" link below.

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Household & Cooking AidsTalking Measuring Jug

Household and Cooking Aids is any device that helps Persons who are Blind or have Visual Impairments, to be able to do household chores and cooking without assistance, thus giving that person more independents and improving their self esteem. There are a variety of these Assistive Devices, which range from simple adaptions such as iron guards, which helps protect the person ironing from getting burned, to more advanced Equipment such as talking ovens. In the page below we will introduce & discuss a wide variety of these different types of Household and Cooking Aids that are available in South Africa, which are sold by companies such as Edit Microsystems.

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Educational Aids

Many students have some type of visual problem, but the great majority of these cases can be resolved with Glasses or contact lenses. These students need no special education services, however some students with more serious Visual Impairments need extra assistance. A student with a Visual Impairment can succeed in school if given the right support and accommodations and the teacher should understand these implications of Visual Impairments for learning and the modifications and accommodations that are essential for the student’s success. Educators often classify students in terms of classroom functioning, students who are Blind or Visually Impaired are typically classified as moderate, severe, and profound. These classifications refer to the extent to which the student needs special education adaptations to learn. There are a wide range of assistive technology devices that are available for students who are Blind or Visually Impaired. Some are considered "low tech" and inexpensive while others are more "high tech" and can be more expensive.  These Educational Aids are available throughout South Africa and can be purchased from various Organizations & Companies such as Edit Microsystems. Many of these Organizations & Companies can also advise you on what Educational Aids would best suit your needs and supply the training you need. To find out more about these Educational Aids, click the "Educational Aids" button on the left or the link below.

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Glasses & Eye Protection

There are many people of all ages that have some type of Visual Impairment that can be resolved with the aid of Glasses which are used for vision correction, such as Reading Glasses and Glasses used for nearsightedness. Contact lenses can also be used for thisGlasses & Eye Protection purpose. Glasses consist of glass or hard plastic lenses mounted in a frame that holds them in front of a person's eyes. In the past, these lenses were made exclusively of glass, but as technology advances, so did lenses and today most lenses are made of high-tech plastics which are lighter and don’t break or scratch as easily as glass. Glasses are typically used for vision correction, but there are also a wide variety of different types of other Glasses used for Sport, Entertainment (3D Glasses), Work or as a fashion accessory, such as Sunglasses. The page below will deal with the types of Glasses which can assist and protect the eyes of Persons who are Blind or have serious Visual Impairments. Many of these products are available in South Africa and are sold by Organizations and Companies such as Edit Microsystems. To find out more about these Glasses & Eye Protection, click the "Glasses & Eye Protection " button on the left or the link below.

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Mobility Aids

There are a range of assistive devices that have been developed and are available for persons who are Blind or Visually Impaired, so that they can be more mobile and independent. These assistive devices are known as Mobility Aids and can range in price and include both "low tech" inexpensive devices such as White Canes, as well as more expensive "high tech" equipment, such as Smart Glasses. Mobility Aids however, don't only include equipment, but can also include Guide Animals and Accessible Features, such as Tactile Paving. Orientation Techniques can also be taught & used to assist persons who are Blind or Visually Impaired, so that they can be more mobile. These Orientation Techniques & the use of White Canes or Guide Dogs + Accessible Features which the Government has introduced, can help persons who are Blind, to be able to travel around & navigate successfully from point A to point B. Some persons who are Blind use a wide range of these Mobility Aids, while others only require one or two of them to be able to travel independently.

There are various Organizations & Companies such as  South African National Council for the Blind and Edit Microsystems, which offer a wide variety of these Services and Mobility Aids. Many of these Organizations & Companies can also advise you on what equipment would best suit your needs and how to use the equipment that they supply.

To find out more about these Mobility Aids & Techniques that can assist you, click the "Mobility Aids " button on the left or the link below.

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Reading Aids

Reading is not only essential for personal independence, but also in Education and as a hobby, it provides many benefits and is still possible for persons who are Blind or have Visual Impairments, thanks to Assistive Devices called Reading Aids. There are a wide variety of different types of Visual Impairments and are therefore also a variety of different types of Reading Aids available. Many persons of all ages have some type of Visual Impairment which can be resolved with the aid of Glasses, such as Reading Glasses, but there are also a variety of other types of Reading Aids, including Large Print Books, Magnifiers and Computer Magnifiers, which can be used to zoom in to make the writing and pictures larger for persons with Visually Impairments who can still read. Computer  Software is also available that can read the content on the computer back to the user, while other Computer Aids can assist persons to be able to operate their computer or electronic devices. Braille Books and other equipment are also available for Persons who are Blind and able to read braille, while Audio Books and Audio Book Players can be used by Persons who just wish to enjoy listening to the content of a book.

Persons with Visual Impairments or who are Blind who wish to remain independent, will need to find a way to read comfortably by finding a Reading Aid that will suite them. This is one of the most difficult challenges for Persons with Visual Impairments or who are Blind, but thankfully Reading Aids are available throughout South Africa and are sold by Organizations & Companies such as the South African National Council for the Blind and Edit Microsystems, who offer a wide variety of solutions and can also advise you on what equipment would best suit your needs. Some of these companies such as Edit Microsystems can also teach persons and offer support to them on how to best use the equipment that they supply.

Employers, Teachers and Lecturers should make Reading Aids available to persons with Visual Impairments, so that they will not be disadvantaged in School or at their job. To view more information about these Reading aids that are available in South Africa as well as the companies that supply them, click the link below or view the menu on the left.

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Sports & Hobby AidsUno & Braille Playing Cards

Persons who are Blind or have Visual Impairments can still take part and benefit from activities like Sports and Hobbies. Sports & Hobbies not only help prevent depression, but can help you meet people and also remove some of the stigma associated with having a disability. Many Sportsman with Visual Impairments inspire others and help society learn about persons with disabilities. Some Sports such as Swimming, Judo and Athletics don't require adapted equipment but some Sports and Hobbies require the assistance of adapted Sports Equipment/Aids so that Persons with Visual Impairments can take part.

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Writing & Printing Aids

Literacy is a key to personal independence and the access to information for Persons who are Blind. Reading and Writing can only be attained through Braille, making it key to literacy. Thanks to the availability of a variety of Printing Aids, Braille literature and printed materials are more readily available through Schools, Universities, Libraries, Organizations and Companies. Writing Aids, and various techniques have also been developed to assist persons who have Visual Impairments, so that they are able to Write or Sign.BRAILLO 600 S2 These Writing Aids can include simple assistive devices such as writing or signature guides, Slate and Stylus, Paper with raised or bold lines or Special Pens. The use of slant boards, and different types of magnification may also be helpful for those who are writing print, while environmental adaptations include increasing contrast and lighting. Equipment such as Tape Recorders can be used to capture meetings, lectures or assist in composition of papers, while voice synthesizers can read each page back to the user. Computers, Computer Aids and Computer Software have also been developed to assist persons who are Blind or have Visual Impairments and Employers, Teachers and Lecturers should make this type of equipment available to persons with Visual Impairments, so that they will not be disadvantaged in School or at their job. These and other Writing & Printing Aids are readily available in South Africa from organizations and companies such as Edit Microsystems. Click on the link below or on the Writing & Printing Aids link on the top left of the page to find out more about Writing & Printing Aids and the different Companies in South Africa that supply them.

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References

Gold Level Advert
Edit Microsystems

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