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Living with Sight Loss

5 Gift Ideas for Visually Impaired

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Struggling with gift ideas for a visually impaired loved one? Here are 5 gift ideas to inspire you.

1. Amazon Echo Smart Speaker – Best Gift Idea for Visually Impaired

The Amazon Echo smart speaker is popular in homes today for the convenience it brings. but for the visually impaired, it provides a natural experience with access to a range of features and services that are normally hard or impossible to access.

There are the well-known features like the ability to ask for the news and control smart devices around the home. Furthermore Alexa provides access to radio stations, Podcasts, and a skill for RNIB Reading Services library of an ever-expanding collection of audio books for free.

Furthermore, Alexa can read your Kindle books, enabling access to books not available in audio format.

Find out more about Alexa on the Amazon Alexa Accessibility web page

Amazon have a wide range of Echo devices with options to meet most price points, for instance the Echo Dot 3rd generation can be found for less than £20 and the Echo Dot 4th Generation retailing at £50.

Amazon links Echo devices to your account unless you tick the “This is a Gift” option at check out.

2. iPhone SE (2020)

If your loved one doesn’t have a smart phone, the iPhone SE is the perfect balance of technology and cost. Most importantly the iPhone has market leading accessibility features built in as standard. For instance, VoiceOver provides voice guidance to navigate the phone or help take a photo. In addition, the Zoom functionality enables those with some vision to use the phone more easily.

Prices start at £389 (December 2021)

Find out more about the iPhone SE (2020) on the Apple website

3. RNIB Pen Friend 3

Identifying objects is challenging when there isn’t a tactile difference. Firstly, The RNIB Pen Friend 3 allows labels to be attached to almost anything, and secondly, have up to 60 minutes audio stored on the pen.

Video demonstration of the Pen Friend 2 (Pen Friend 3 adds support for talking books)

The Pen Friend 3 is available from RNIB for £81.99 plus VAT (December 2021)

Find more information on the RNIB Pen Friend 3 product page.

4. Apple Air Tags

If your loved one is always losing things, Apple Air Tags are ideal for helping them find things themselves. The tags are slightly bigger than a bottle top and you can get a range of accessories for attaching them to items from keys to boxes.

This small device works on iPhone 7 and above, but to get the magic you need an iPhone 11 or above. The AirTags can be pinpointed precisely with the new iPhone’s Ultra-Wide Band chip, therefore making them ideal for the visually impaired. Please note that the iPhone SE 2020 does not support Ultra-Wide Band and Air Tag Precise locating features.

James Rath demonstrates Apple Air Tags from a Visually Impaired perspective.

Apple Air Tags are £29 each or £99 for a pack of four. Buy from Apple directly for free engraving.

Link to Apple Air Tags on Apple.co.uk

5. Loc-Dots

Loc-Dots are the ideal stocking filler at just £2.99 per pack of 6 in clear or orange. They are small, raised stickers that can be applied to computer keyboards, TV remotes, heating controls or even on keys to help identify the key you need. I personally use them to mark the capslock key on my keyboard, identify the front door key and to identify the power button on my CPAP machine by touch

Link to the RNIB Loc-Dots Product page

What are your gift ideas for Visually Impaired loved ones?

Have some ideas of your own, drop me a note via the contact page and I will add the best ones to the article.

Tell me what you think in the comments below or on twitter @timdixon82

By Tim Dixon

Tim Dixon has worked in IT for over 20 years, specifically within the Testing Inspection and Certification industry. Tim has Cone Dystrophy, a progressive sight loss condition that impacts his central vision, colour perception and makes him sensitive to light. He likes to share his experience of life and how he navigates the abyss of uncertainty.

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