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Products & Equipment

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Introduction

Many Persons who are Blind or have Visual Impairments require Accessories to assist them on a daily basis. The Accessories listed on this page are those small Assistive Devices that are used by Persons With Visual Impairments to become more independent. They include products such as Automatic Pill Reminders, Pill Splitters & Pill Organizers; Braille or Talking Tape Measures; Money Templates & Coin Selectors; Pen Friends; Talking Calculators; Signature Guides, Braille & Talking Watches & Alarm Clocks, etc. Some of these products 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 Blind SA and Edit Microsystems.

Edit Microsystems: is a leading supplier of educational and corporate technology solutions in Southern Africa. Edit 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; educationEdit Microsystems 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.

Please read the information below to find out more about these different types of Accessories as well as some of the companies that supply them.

Automatic Pill Reminder, Pill Splitter & Pill OrganizerAutomatic Pill Reminder, Pill Splitter & Pill Organizer

Automatic Pill Reminders, Pill Splitters & Pill Organizers (pictured right) are ideal for Persons with disabilities, so that they are able to organize, store  and cut their pills. The Pill Splitter Cuts tablets in half easily, while a Pill Organizer is a convenient way to organize and store your daily tablets. These products come in a variety of different sizes and styles and are sold by various Organizations and Companies, including the South African National Council for the Blind who sell Pill Organizers. Contact them to receive a quote or Contact Us if you have any questions.

Tape Measures For The Blind

Tape-Measures For The Blind enable Persons who are Blind or Visually Impaired to still be able to complete small tasks around their home. There are two types of Tape-Measures For The Blind, which include the Talking Tape-Measure and the Braille Tape-Measure. Braille Tape-Measure

The Braille Tape-Measure: (pictured right) is available in South Africa from Organizations such as the South African National Council for the Blind, who sells a Meter long tape measure which has tactile markings at centimetres and inches. Contact them to receive a quote or Contact Us if you have any questions.

Money Template & Coin Selector

In South Africa and in many other countries around the world, money has been designed and made to include distinct features so that Persons who are Blind are able to tell the different coins and notes apart. A coin for example has six distinct features by which it can be identified. Equipment is also available to help persons who are Blind to store their coins and distinguish them apart, this equipment includes:Money Templates

Plastic Coin Selectors: (pictured right) are also used for quick and easy reference, as the plastic unit has places for South African coins which enables you to handily store your coins in one unit. These plastic coin selectors are available from organizations such as the South African National Council for the Blind. You can contact them to find out more or to receive a quote.

New South African Bank Notes also have defining markings on them, so that they can be recognized. They have one, two, three, four or five raised diamond shapes in the middle of the bottom half of the  notes, which enable Persons who are Blind to identify them as R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200 respectively. The notes are also different lengths and have geometric shapes on the front of the banknotes. Click Here to find out more about these and other Accessible Features that the Government has introduced. Money Templates are also available to assist persons who are Blind to distinguish between Bank Notes.

Money Templates: are also used to measure banknotes, they come in various styles, including an aluminium device, which can only be used for identifying paper money and is available from organizations such as the South African National Council for the Blind. The other type of Money Template that is sold, is a cardboard one, which can also be used to store the banknotes, they are available from organizations such as the Guide Dogs Association of South African and Blind SA. You can contact the South African Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind, Blind SA or the South African National Council for the Blind to receive a quote, or visit Blind SA to see how it is used.Pen Friend

Pen Friend

A Pen Friend is a electronic unit which allows for the identification of items by affixing a dot on to the item and the user speaks the specifications of the item. This used is for later identification by holding the Pen Friend against the dot.

Pen Friends: (pictured right) are available from companies and organizations such as the South African National Council for the Blind. Contact them to receive a quote or Contact Us if you have any questions.

Talking Calculators

A Talking Calculator is a portable electronic device used to perform calculations, ranging from basic arithmetic to complex mathematics and then to talk the answer back to the user in a clear voice. There are a variety of  different types of TalkingScientific Calculator Calculators available in South Africa, which are sold by organizations and companies such as the South African National Council for the Blind and Edit Microsystems. The South African National Council for the Blind sells a Talking Scientific Calculator and Edit Microsystems offers the "A4 Talking Desktop Calculator" and the "Talking Handheld Calculator."

Talking Scientific Calculator: This Talking Scientific Calculator (pictured above right) is an ergonomically designed unit suitable for use by both students and professionals. There is an earphone jack for private use, so that all keys presses and results are spoken and supplied through the ear phones for private listening. You can contact South African National Council for the Blind to find out more or to receive a quote.

A4 Talking Desktop Calculator: This A4 sized calculator talks to the user in a clear female voice. The large buttons and clear display and announcements make simple calculating tasks more convenient and efficient for individuals who cannot see a standard Talking Handheld Calculatorsdisplay. This product is suitable for low vision users and includes a square root function key, Percentage key and Memory keys. You can contact Edit Microsystems for more information and to receive a quote.

Talking Handheld Calculator: This Talking Handheld Calculator (pictured right) has an 8 digit display, an alarm clock, a percentage button and a large digit LCD display. The calculator announces the input digits and totals in a clear female voice. The announcements can be repeated at the press of a button and the volume can be easily adjusted. The dimensions are 85mm (W) x 129mm (L) x 18mm (D) and it is powered by 2 x AAA batteries. You can contact Edit Microsystems for more information or to receive a quote.

There are also various other types of these products which are available from companies such as Edit Microsystems, contact them to see what other types of these products they can supply.

Talking Personal Scale

Talking Personal Scales Keep Your Goal Weight in Sight. Everyone wants to be healthier and happier but if you have low vision, it can be frustrating when you can’t read the bathroom scale. Talking Personal Scales which give clean and crisp audio readouts of your weight, are available in South Africa from organizations and companies such as Edit Microsystems, who sell the following:

Talking Personal Scale: This talking scale is hands free and does not need to be switched on or off, you simply stand on the scale and it will speak your weight to you in a metric of your choosing, they are available in Kilograms, Stones and Pounds. Speech is in a clear male voice and the volume is adjustable. The dimensions are 290mm (W) x 315mm (L) x 36mm (D) and it is powered by 1 x PP3 battery. You can contact Edit Microsystems for more information or to receive a quote.

There are also various other types of these products which are available from companies such as Edit Microsystems, contact them to see what other types of these products they can supply.

Talking Thermometer

There are also various types of Talking Thermometers available in South Africa, including:

The Talking Inside / Outside Thermometer: This Thermometer will announce the inside and outside temperatures in a clear female voice. The measurement unit can either be Celsius or Fahrenheit and the unit has a probe that can be led through a window to measure the outside temperature. The Talking Thermometer can be set to announce the temperature every hour or at selected intervals. An alarm can be set to warn of extreme temperatures and high and low temperatures can be stored on the unit. These thermometers are available from companies such as Edit Microsystems can ,contact them for more information or to receive a quote.

There are also various other types of these products which are available from companies such as Edit Microsystems, contact them to see what other types of these products they can supply.

Signature Guides

Signature Guides are ideal for persons who have trouble seeing where to sign important documents, like a cheque, receipts, or even your tax return. It is a simple tool that helps you to sign on the dotted line every time. Signature guides are typically made of cardboard or plastic and work by using a cutout space or raised lines to help you stay in place. These Guides are inexpensive and come in several sizes, so you can keep them in the places where you are most likely to use them, such as your home, office or wallet.Signature Guides When you're ready to sign, you just ask someone to put the window of the guide over the signature line, hold the guide in place, and sign in the area outlined by the window. Signature Guides are available in South Africa from organizations such as the South African National Council for the Blind & Blind SA who recently launched Mali-Bhala – a money counter and signature guide – in association with the Disability Rights Awareness Month.

Mali-Bhala: This locally created device comes in two standard sizes that are designed to fit either in a person’s wallet or pocket. It is used as an indicator to differentiate between the five South African ‘Mandela’ bank notes and as a signature guide. It gives thousands of blind and partially sighted individuals the independence of signing documents and counting money. The cost for a single Mali-Bhala is R20 or R35 for a double pack that includes both the pocket and wallet size devices. Blind SA strives to make assistive devices like this one more accessible and affordable to the blind community. For more information or enquiries on this device, please contact Blind SA through their website or Tel: 011 839 1793.

Talking & Braille Watches, Alarm Clocks, Etc.

Most people plan out there days based on the time of the day, they wake up at specific times, go to work and come home at specific times and eat meals at specific times. We therefore rely on devices such as Alarm Clocks, Watches, Clocks and Calendars, to be able to wake up, tell the time and date. Persons With Visual Impairments or who are Blind are no different, there are therefore a variety of different types of these Accessories which can assist Persons who are Blind or have Visual Impairments to be able to plan out there day and tell the time. These Accessories range from Braille Watches and Clocks to Talking Watches, Alarm Clocks and Calendars. Many of these products are available in South Africa and supplied by Organizations and Companies such as Edit Microsystems, they include some of the following products:

Alarm Clocks

Talking Alarm Clocks can assist Persons who are Blind or have Visual Impairments, to be able to tell the time and to be woken up. There are various different types of these products which are available in South Africa and are sold by Companies such as Edit Microsystems, who sell products such as the:T21 Talking Alarm Clock with Spoken Temperature

T21 Talking Alarm Clock with Spoken Temperature: This talking Alarm Clock (pictured right) is a compact unit with a clear LCD display that is back lit in green. The clear female voice speaks the time and the temperature in either Celsius or Fahrenheit. The talking Alarm Clock has a large button on the top which will activate the back lit display, the speech and the temperature. The alarm function has optional snooze and an hourly chime. Contact Edit Microsystems to find out more, or to purchase this product.

Dual Voice Single Button Clock: This small clock is ideal for carrying around in your pocket or in the carry case provided. The clock speaks the time, the day, the date and the year. Users can choose announcements to be made in either a male or female voice. The time can be spoken in either a 12 or 24 hour format and it also announces the time of day. i.e. ‘In the morning’. The daily alarm function has a choice of ten different alarm sounds. The volume is adjustable and the function buttons are recessed to prevent accidental changing of the settings. This product can therefore be used as both an Alarm Clock or a simple Clock which can be carried around with you. Contact Edit Microsystems to find out more or to purchase this product.

There are also various other types of these products which are available from companies such as Edit Microsystems, contact them to see what other types of these products they can supply.

Talking Calendar Alarm ClocksTalking Calendar Alarm Clock

Some Talking Alarm Clocks also include talking calendars, such as the following product that is sold by Edit Microsystems and is available in South Africa.

The Talking Calendar Alarm Clock: This Talking Calendar Alarm Clock (pictured right) is designed to be easy to use and quick to set. It comes with a removable cover that completely covers the buttons to protect them from accidental operations. The talking calendar alarm clock has a range of features which include: A full reporting of the day, date and time and selectable reporting styles i.e. “Two thirty pm” or “Half past two”.  A selectable hourly report and adjustable speech and alarm volumes are also available with a high speech quality. You can contact Edit Microsytems to find out more or to receive a quote.

There are also various other types of these products which are available from companies such as Edit Microsystems, contact them to see what other types of these products they can supply.

Braille Watches & ClocksBraille Watches

A Braille Watch is a portable timepiece used by Persons who are Blind, so that they are able to tell the time. It is used by touching the dial and noticing the embossments. Both analog and digital versions are available.

The analog versions have a protective glass or crystal cover that is flipped open when time needs to be read and the clock-hands are constructed to not be susceptible to movement at the mere touch of the finger which a blind person uses to observe their positions.

In the digital form, the dots (like braille script) keep changing position as time changes. To use this device you would  need to be able to understand the Braille alphabet to read the watch. Some of these watches are available from Organizations such as the South African National Council for the blind who stock the following two types of braille watches:

These Braille Watches: (pictured above right) have raised hour markers for a tactile reading of the time and are in a silver or gold finishing. You can contact South African National Council for the Blind to find out more or to receive a quote, or Contact Us if you have any questions.

Electronic talking watches, which speak the time at the touch of a button, are also popular among persons who are blind.

Talking Watches

A Talking Watch gives verbal announcement of the time using tiny voice chips that produce a synthesized, natural sounding speech. Most talking watches have a female voice, but watches with a male voice and dual voices have been introduced on the market and are gaining quick acceptance. There are a variety of different types and styles of these Talking Watches, which are sold in South Africa including the following watches which are sold by Edit Microsystems:W23 Gents/Ladies Gold Talking Calendar Alarm Watch

W23 Gents/Ladies Gold Talking Calendar Alarm Watch: This talking wrist watch (pictured right) is designed for ease of use as it speaks the time, the date and it has an alarm function. The first press of the single button reads the time out and the second press of the button announces the time in a clear, male voice. Pressing the recessed button together with the time button sets the watch functions, which means that the watch settings cannot be changed accidentally. The watch is available with either a brown or black strap or with a gold expanding bracelet strap. You can contact Edit Microsytems to find out more or to receive a quote.

W10 Talking Calendar Stopwatch Alarm: This talking watch speaks the time and the day in a clear female voice. The watch has a stainless steel case and a large digital display. Four separate alarm times can be set and the stopwatch speaks the elapsed time automatically although it can be programmed to speak on demand only. This talking watch has an optional hourly chime and the Case dimensions are 39mm (W) x 50mm (H) x 0.66 (Thick). This watch is powered by 1 x CR2016 Lithium battery which is included. You can contact Edit Microsytems to find out more or to receive a quote.

W15 Gents/Ladies Single Button Talking Wristwatch: This talking wristwatch speaks in a clear female voice and has been specifically designed for ease of use. By pressing a single button the talking wristwatch will speak the time. The buttons for the adjustment of the spoken time can be found on either side of the case and are recessed to prevent accidental operation. This talking wristwatch is available with either a leather strap or an expanding bracelet. In order to maintain simplicity this wristwatch does not have an alarm function or hourly report functions. You can contact Edit Microsytems to find out more or to receive a quote.

W16 Talking Large Faced Watches: These talking watches have a clear analogue face that measures 36mm in diameter. At the touch of a button the time and date is announced in a clear female voice. The watch has 3 alarm sounds, an optional hourly report and a count down function. You can choose to have the time reporting in a 12 or 24 hour clock format. The watch is available in either a silver casing with a black face and white hands and numbers, or a gold casing with a white face and black hands and numbers. The watches are available with a black or brown leather strap or with an expanding bracelet strap. You can contact Edit Microsytems to find out more or to receive a quote.

There are also various other types of these products which are available from companies such as Edit Microsystems, contact them to see what other types of these products they can supply.

TelephonesDect Photo Phone

There are various different types of Telephones that make communication easier for Persons With Visual Impairments, these include various types of large button telephones as well as other types of phones including the Dect Photo Phone which is available in South Africa from companies such as Edit Microsystems.

The Dect Photo Phone: (pictured right) can be used as a regular cordless, big button phone, or as a photo phone. The 10 buttons on the base of the phone can be used as speed dial buttons and can include a picture of the recipient. This can assist those who have difficulty remembering commonly used phone numbers. Calls can be made using the regular keypad or by pressing the picture button. The phone book can store up to 50 names and numbers. The handset display is back lit in orange with an adjustable contrast. The unit is GAP (Generic Access Profile) compatible and can be paired with up to 4 different handsets. The volume on the phone is adjustable and has 5 different volume settings. The features include a call waiting indicator, 10 ringtones, hands free speaker and a redial option. You can contact Edit Microsytems to find out more or to receive a quote.

There are also various other types of these products which are available from companies such as Edit Microsystems, contact them to see what other types of these products they can supply.

To view more information about these Assistive Devices and others, view the menu on the left or feel free to Contact Us if you have any questions about the products and Services listed on this page and we will point you in the right direction.

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References

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