The blind use a variety of aids to help them live independently, including special braille devices for using the computer and surfing the Internet, voice recorders, banknote identifier and specially-labeled braille watches, appliances, rulers and other household items, according to the American Foundation for the Blind. Many of these items are designed to enable the blind to use them based on sound or touch.
The blind can live independently with the use of modified equipment and special aids for handling non-modified objects encountered in their daily lives. These include:
- Braille watches - Special watches with raised faces and a protective glass cover that can be opened as needed to feel the time.
- Braille displays - These displays connect to a computer and convert the text on screen into braille that is presented on a special touch reader, according to the American Foundation for the Blind. Modern computers also have special programs that can read the text on the page out loud to the computer user.
- Boil alert disk - The ingeniously simple tool alerts the user that a pot of water is boiling. The disk bounces against the bottom of the pot when water is boiling, creating a distinct rattling noise.
- Banknote identifier - The banknote identifier is usually a small device with a slot to slide a dollar bill through. It reads the dollar bill and speaks the denomination out loud.
- Recorders - Found on most smartphones and also sold as handheld voice recorders, these devices are handy for taking notes and creating to-do lists.
- Raised line paper - Those who could see and learned to write before going blind can use raised line paper to write relatively legible notes. Raised line checks make it possible to write a check for paying bills.