There is a large range of talking aids available including timers, clocks, watches, calculators, scales and food thermometers. Talking key chain alarms and voice memo devices, vibrating and beeping liquid level indicators and talking colour detectors are also available.
The following items can be particularly useful for maintaining independence when out in the community:
A barcode reader can be used to record the details of an object, such as a food tin or DVD, and the recording can be played back on demand.
Digital recorders, or dictaphones, can be useful for creating shopping lists or a to-do list. Choose one that allows the creation of multiple lists. Newer recorders also have the ability to read aloud e-books, DAISY books and text files.
Radio reading services
Radio for the Print Handicapped (RPH) provides a radio reading service for people who cannot see, handle or understand printed material. Programming includes readings from daily newspapers and articles from magazines as well as book readings and extracts from a variety of publications on topics such as health, music, art, entertainment, science. RPH radio stations are available in most states.
Audio description is used in the performing arts (theatre, dance, and opera) and media (TV, cinema, DVD) and also in art galleries and museums to verbally describe the image or action. Only selected performances for performing arts and cinema will include audio description. DVDs will be marked if they include an audio description feature. Audio-described music lessons are also available.
There are many options for talking aids and these should be addressed as part of a low vision assessment.