Tools of the blind and visually impaired

Share Button

The White Cane: read great information on the history, etc regarding this widely recognized tool of the blind and visually impaired

Guide Dog: A choice of many blind and visually impaired people, the Guide Dog is a specially trained dog that helps a blind/VI person navigate the world. For information of guide dogs and the special training programs, visit and

CCTV (Closed Circuit TV) is a device that typically has a camera and a screen. The visually impaired person puts the paper they are trying to see on a tray under the camera and the camera enlarges the image on a screen similar to a tv or computer monitor. Size and color contrast are a couple of the features on CCTV’s that help the visually impaired see the material. For a comprehensive list of CCTV options, go to

Handheld Magnifiers are typically small, portable devices that can be used to enlarge small print or picture areas such as a restaurant menu, paper money, etc. Handhel Magnifiers come in several sizes and many have light options. For a list of handheld magnifiers visit

Braille is a system of raised dots that is used by the blind and visually impaired to read and write.

The Perkins Braille Writer: Almost every blind/VI child’s first experience with creating Braille happens on a Perkins Braille writer. The Perkins Braille Writer looks much like an old typewriter. For pictures and more information on this visit

Electronic Braille Writer Thanks to evolving technology, many Braille readers/writers choose the more compact, light, and versatile electronic Braille writers. These have a refreshable Braille display and many can connect to a printer to produce “regular” print. For more on these visit

Slate and Stylus is a small, portable system of creating Braille. To view slate and stylus options visit

Braille Book Resources: 
Seedlings Braille books for children
National Braille Press
Interesting tip: Many Braille children’s books are available in a “twin vision” design, meaning there is regular print as well as braille on the pages. These are a wonderful resource for sighted parents, siblings and teachers to share a book with a blind child.

More Braille Resources:
Braille literacy courses:

Screen readers (JAWS, ZOOMTEXT) Screen readers are special programs on the computer that read the computer screen out loud to the blind/VI user. To view examples of screen readers visit

Screen enlarging software allows the blind/VI user to enlarge the screen of the computer as well as enlarge key components such as the pointer or cursor. For an example of a screen magnifier visit

Portable Scanner allows blind/VI people to scan a printed document into a computer and then utilize enlarging or document reader technology to access the document. For examples of this visit

Dancing Dots offers an accessible music program for blind and visually impaired people.

facebook feed

twitter feed