Vision Loss Tools

Whether you have some remaining vision or not, there are many vision aids that can help you to live independently. It’s important that you seek help from your local CNIB office before buying any tools or devices. Not all devices work for all types of vision loss. Therefore, it’s important that you receive a proper assessment to determine what works best for your particular eye condition.

Contact your local CNIB office for a low vision consultation and for more information on assistive devices or adaptive aids that can include both low- and high-tech tools.

Low-tech tools include: handheld and stand magnifiers that are either non-illuminated or illuminated; headbourne devices such as specialized reading glasses, sunglasses, and intermediate devices for computer or reading music sheets, binoculars, and telescopes, which could be mounted in a lens or handheld.

Talking clocks and watches, colour identifiers and large-print labels are also examples of low-tech devices that may help you with day-to-day activities.

Some of these devices may not require a lot of training, but you may benefit from practice and some instruction to improve your comfort, speed and effectiveness when using them.

High-tech tools: These items may require minimal to extensive training and practice, but most people can get the hang of them with help from CNIB’s specialists. They include specialized glasses (such as head-mounted electronic glasses), closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs), computer screen magnification software, computer screen readers, and digital talking book players (DAISY).

CNIB’s low vision services can help you maximize the use of your remaining sight and do day-to-day tasks with confidence. CNIB’s caring specialists will work with you one-on-one or in a group setting, teaching you visual skills and how to use vision aids to live independently and achieve your personal goals.

As part of those services, you’ll likely receive a vision assessment. That means a specialist will assess your current vision, record your vision history and make recommendations about how you can use your remaining vision to meet your goals. These recommendations often include the best methods for you to continue reading and writing, as well as how you can use large-print, vision aids, electronic text or audio books to make the most of your vision.

In addition to the many low vision services provided free of charge by CNIB, some services are also offered through eye doctors, opticians, hospitals and some universities. To find out about financial support for assessments and vision aids, contact a low vision service provider near you. Financial support varies across Canada and is subject to change.

Visit CNIB’s webstore for a complete description of the tools and devices available to you.​​​​​​​​​

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