Module 3: Assistive Technologies for People with Vision Impairment for various life domains
Assistive technologies have greatly improved the quality of lives of persons with vision impairment, across different domains such as literacy, computer access, mobility and activities of daily living. Let us first look at how assistive devices used by persons with low vision may differ from those used by persons with complete loss of vision.
In this video, Dr. Anuradha from Sankara Nethralaya, highlights the existing assistive devices and the gap areas which require more focus.
About Resource Person
Focus Areas covered:
- Orientation and mobility
- Activities of daily living
- Access to literacy
- Access to digital content.
Key differences between augmenting vs replacing the visual sensory pathway
As we’ve seen earlier, Persons with Vision Impairment include Persons with low vision and People who are completely blind. The approach towards assessing vision as well as prescribing AT can be very different for persons with low vision, as compared to those who are completely blind.
For people with low vision, the primary pathway for vision exists and can be augmented. For example, the limitation could be in the:
- Intensity of the input signal – In this case, magnification aids (optical, non-optical, electronic) may be used as a solution.
- Frequency or wavelength – Color contrasts or filters may be used by users
with this limitation.
- Field limitation – Lenses that widen the field are commonly used to solve this issue.
When the visual sensory system is completely impaired, it must be substituted by an alternative sensory pathway, such as the tactile (touch) (Eg: Braille) or the auditory (Eg: Screen reader) modality.