Gift Ideas for the Visually Impaired

The holiday season is upon us and there are only 19 days till you’re officially allowed to frantically unwrap all the goodies under the tree.

Upon discovering what this special occasion has given you, some will react with cries of joy while others may lower their faces with signs of anguish.

To avoid spreading disappointment in the festive season of giving, here is OXSIGHT’s list of best gifts for the visually impaired.

 

OXSIGHT glasses

oxsight users at afternoon tea

OXSIGHT PrismTM and CrystalTM are specially designed smart glasses for the visually impaired. With intuitive technology, users have reported being able to see their whole family at gatherings as well as be able to finally appreciate that gorgeous roast turkey at the centre of the table.

OXSIGHT glasses enable users to maintain eye contact with their loved ones with its clear design and avoid eye contact with no-so-loved ones with its attachable shade.

They also come with a variety of accessories allowing the users to customise them to fit their needs.

Also… the launch of a new product in 2020 will bring more Christmas cheer to those with central vision loss.

Pro tip: change modes to highlight objects of interest.

Perfect for: You?

 

Stand by Me RP by Dave Steele

The Blind Poet Dave Steele shares his life with retinitis pigmentosa through the medium of written poetry. Steele tackles issues connected to family, social life, perception from others, and tribulations that he has had to overcome.

The best part?

There are 3 books in the series, so this gift will work for both new and returning readers.

Pro tip: read your favourites aloud to turn your party into a sob fest.

Perfect for: literary buffs, the newly diagnosed, the alienated

 

Watches for the Blind

As a whole, the process of telling the time is almost entirely a visually based task. While it is possible to access services that provide a speaking clock, they are often impractical for general purpose use when speed and efficiency are required.

Watches designed for those with sight loss have come a long way and help improve the ease with which users can tell the time.

There are 2 main types of these watches.

Talking watches are exactly that. They look like regular watches but at the touch of a button, a voice will sound which announces the current time for the user.

Tactile watches, on the other hand, utilise the user’s sense of touch to convey the time. The simple ones look like regular watches, but have have tactile dots which indicate the hours and hands that are touchable. More complex watches use other methods. Eone Bradley watches have 2 ball bearings that move according to the hands of a clock, while the Dot Watch is a smartwatch and displays time (and other info) in braille.

The main downside to these types of watches is their size. Most will be noticeably thicker than regular watches and some may have a larger case diameter.

Pro tip: coordinate with your attire to be cat-walk ready.

Perfect for: techies, the tardy, the fashion-conscious

 

Board Games

Nothing brings the family closer together than a board game session.

Those with sight loss may find it hard to join in with some tabletop classics, but fortunately, accessible versions have been made to make family and friends fun inclusive to all.

Most of these games have had braille added to them, while others now have tactile markers to help players differentiate pieces.

Pro tip: better to have cheaters on your team than not.

Perfect for: those with friends and/or family, kids, the competitive

 

iPhone

Search “phones for the visually impaired” and you will be bombarded with a plethora of options claiming to make phone operation easier for those with sight loss. And while these options are great, not everyone is happy to trade in style, function, and inclusiveness for improved accessibility.

This is especially the case when modern smartphones do a great job at providing options for those with disabilities.

Perhaps the leader in this field is Apple’s iPhone.

Their Voiceover function can read text and image descriptions, Dark Mode will increase contrast, Magnifier will enlarge anything on screen, and these are just some of the features available for use.

Pro tip: “Hey Siri, call me Thanos from now on.”

Perfect for: all ages, Internet addicts, fans of Steve Jobs

 

Audiobook Subscription

man listening to audiobook on street

Book reading has undergone an evolution in recent years. No longer are bibliophiles limited to simply using their eyes to digest written language. They can now experience books in an auditory capacity.

Audiobooks exist mostly in digital form, so simply gifting one to friends or family may be regarded as miserly. Luckily, there are plenty of subscription options on offer.

The only drawback is that subscriptions mean that you will be financially on the hook for a certain amount of time.

Pro tip: obtain login details from the recipient to take advantage of the subscription yourself.

Perfect for: pseudo-intellectuals, book club patrons, lazy students

 

Treatment

surgeon with green bay packers hat

Treatment for someone with a visual impairment is a more situational gift. Not every condition has a corresponding cure.

Fortunately, medical science is progressing at a rapid pace so, even if there isn’t one now, there may be one in the future.

Laser eye surgery may help those with long- or short-sightedness. Patients can also sign up to take part in the latest clinical trials involving the use of gene therapy or stem cells. While these trials may be quite experimental and have no guarantee of success, they also offer the opportunity to be at the forefront of modern medicine and contribute to the eventual production of a cure.

Pro tip: expectation management is a must.

Perfect for: the impatient, gamblers, “I know a guy”