Assistive Technology for the Blind and Visually Impaired | Tier List

Assistive Technology for the Blind and Visually Impaired | Tier List

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I'm going to rank the best  and most popular assistive   technology for the Blind and Visually Impaired Hi everyone it is Carrie from Carrie on  accessibility and I'm super excited about this   video. I got this idea from Josh Tseng and he did  a tier list for assistive technology. I'll share   his video right up here and in the description. He  has a pretty great Channel you should go check it   out. He does a lot of fun things. If you're not  familiar with what a tier list is it's pretty  

fun you just sort out different things into S,  A ,B, C, or D tier. S is that top tier Supreme,   that's super, whatever, I don't even know what  S stands for category. In my case, S does not   mean that that particular assistive technology  device or tool is perfect and if I put something   in D tier, which is the lowest tier, that doesn't  mean that it's trash or it's garbage or that you   shouldn't use it. I still personally use things  that I am going to put in the detail I'm sure. Just to be clear my definition of assistive  technology is anything that helps somebody   with a disability. I'm going to be ranking on a  few different criteria. First is going to be the   affordability and the cost. Is it free or does it  cost an arm and a leg and thousands of dollars,   that I don't know about you but I can't pay  for. And of course there are a lot of different  

programs and organizations that'll pay for you but  I'm talking about purely out of pocket cost. I'll   also be judging its practicality and usefulness.  So how useful is this actual piece of equipment or   software? Do I have to carry a big huge thing with  me that's inconvenient? Is it actually helpful or   does it just feel cool? Is it something that has  potential but hasn't quite met its potential yet? And of course personal preference. this is  my ranking and, you know, if you disagree   with me let me know in the comments or you can  make your own tier list. That would be so much   fun to see. I just think this whole idea is  a lot of fun. Everybody is different even in  

the Blind and Visually Impaired community and  I think that diversity and opinion is awesome. So the first category is technology and  we're going to start out with number one   a smartphone this is so easy  for me this goes right into   S tier and it's probably going  to be the number one in S tier. Having a phone is amazing for accessibility.  I don't know what I do without my cell phone.   I have everything on there. I communicate  on there I have all my different helpful  

apps. I just do everything on my phone.  It's given me so much Independence and   maybe it's different for you, but  this is probably my number one. Number two is a computer. This might be a  little bit controversial. I know a lot of   people in the Blind and Visually Impaired  Community don't particularly like using   their computer. I need my computer to  work to be efficient and there are so  

many other tools on the computer as well  that just help me on a day-to-day basis.   For me this also goes in S tier, but under the  phone. So I'm going to put that right there. Number three is a tablet. it I have a tablet. I've  done unboxings on this channel and I like having   a tablet. For me it's mostly for entertainment.  It has a lot of accessibility built into it and  

there are things that I find more accessible on a  tablet, but for the most part I'm probably going   to turn to my computer or my phone. A tablet  is going to go into A tier or maybe B tier.   um, yeah, probably B tier. It's just- it's just  a B tier for me. Plus a lot of them can be pretty   expensive and if you go with affordability  the screen's not great. And so either you   have to pay a lot more to get better specs or  a lot less and suffer from those lower specs. Next one is a screen reader. I'm visually impaired  I use a screen magnifier but I also use a screen   reader a lot of the time. I find it super helpful.  I use a screenwriter for my computer and my phone  

and my tablet. I find it really helpful even if I  can still see there's just so much that a screen   reader can do that my eyes can't. So for me this  screen reader is going to be in S tier as well. Screen magnification? It's- it's going to be an S  tier, but it's going to be after a screen reader.   I actually just did an interview with Elena  from Fable talking about a usability study that   basically proved that it's more often that screen  reader accessibility is far behind accessibility   for screen magnification, but for me personally I  love having a screen reader and not having to use   my already bad eyes to look at things and to  read things. Especially when there's a lot of   reading and it just helps me do it so much more  efficiently. If you're using a screen magnifier   and, you know, you're pretty high magnification, I  really encourage you to start learning how to use   a screen reader. It really will help you in the  long run. There can be a learning curve of course,  

but it's just I think it has really helped me  learning NVDA and Jaws, TalkBack, voiceover-- it's   just so helpful and if you still have Vision you  can use a screen reader and a magnifier together. The next one is dark mode and Screen  accommodations like font and display   size and things like that. This is going to be-  mm- A tier? or a B tier? Probably an A tier.   That feels right. There are a lot of visual  modifications.. you can make your text bold;   you can make it larger; you can change your  display Zoom or your screen zoom and just make   everything bigger. You can make dark mode. You  can invert colors. There's a lot of different   visual accommodations they just have a lot of  drawbacks and I can't put it in S tier. If you  

make your display size too big, things overlap and  text overlaps if your font is too large. Sometimes   dark mode is not consistent, so you have to keep  inverting and reinverting and it can be a mess,   but it's very helpful. So that's-- this  is why it's going to go in A tier for me. Number seven is dictation! We all love and  we all hate it. This is going to be-- boy--   I think this is going to be B tier, but before  the tablet because I do use dictation a lot and of   course if my message doesn't sound right I am so  sorry. It's probably because I was using dictation   and it totally got it wrong. So I apologize for  that. It is so helpful because when it does a  

great job it's great but when it does terribly,  oof, it can be a pretty big blunder. I encourage   you to always check what dictation has written  because sometimes-- oh-- you might get in trouble. I think I'm gonna change my mind and put  tablets in C tier because I really do like   the tablet but I just think that it's  not in the same category as dictation.

All right now Braille... this is gonna go in  S tier for me. A lot of people think that we   are in 2023 and we don't need Braille anymore  but Braille can be so useful. I learned Braille   when I was in school but I forgot it, but  I'm relearning it through the new Braille   Hadley lessons which is so completely online.  And they send you the books. It's- it's really   something I would encourage you to do as well.  It's completely free and I think it's definitely   worthwhile. It's not always convenient to  use something like an OCR app or something   like that. One of my favorite tools is a braille  labeler and you can use that to label, you know,  

different foods or different- or different  wires and things like that. And I think that   it's incredibly important especially for  braille literacy for children. It's very   hard to learn grammar and spelling without  Braille. Hopefully, soon I'm going to be   getting a braille display which I will be  talking about in the channel in the future. Number nine is a person. I'm gonna put the this in  A tier, right after uh- display accommodations. I   think people are really great. They can be very  helpful especially if it's your family member or  

friend. They usually have great eyes and you  can ask them so many things but they're not   perfect and you always have this sense of,  "am I being a burden? Am I asking too many   questions?" There's also that awkward feeling  of asking for help to strangers and so for me   it's free, but it comes with its whole other  problems as well. So for me it's an A tier. Next is audio description. I love audio  description. I'm going to put this in A tier,   right after humans. Audio description is amazing.  I love using audio description for things like   Disney plus, Netflix, Amazon Prime... I don't  even have to watch anymore I can just listen to  

the audio description. There's a lot of things  that I can see but I don't understand- uh- and   so audio description is so helpful for that.  So I- for me- it's definitely an easy A tier. The next category is more General  assistive technology or assistive   technology that was specifically created for  people that are blind or visually impaired.

Next, we have stand alone video magnifiers or  CCTV or electronic video magnifiers. I have   a CCTV but they are so expensive. This is going  have to be in B tier or C tier? B tier or C tier? I'm going to put it in B tier for  now though that might change-- it's   um-- at the end of B tier. They are just  extremely expensive. If you pay out of pocket   they can be two thousand, three thousand, four  thousand, even more. I think it's super crazy   for prices to be that high but they do serve  a purpose. You can of course use a magnifier  

app on your phone or handheld thing but if  you want a big screen with a magnifier and   you are going to be doing a lot of reading  or writing or school work, a CCTV is the way   to go. It's a huge investment but if you are  doing that kind of thing it will really help. Next one are magnifiers- Optical magnifiers.  And that for me is the first D tier. It's the   first one in D tier because they don't work for  me. So for me personally, they are not useful.   Perhaps they might help you but for me my vision  is so bad that they don't help me. They can start   pretty cheap like five ten dollars if you get a  1.5x, 2x, maybe even a 3X, something like that.  

They can be super cheap but if you want an LED  light and if you were going up to 8X, 10x, 12x,   14x- which is super high- Eschenbach is a really  great brand. I recommend them but they are super   expensive. I'm also going to lump in binoculars  and monoculars in here. They don't really work   for me- again my vision's too bad- and they can be  pretty pricey as well. They used to work though.   um- my mom called it a telescope, but it's  really monocular, but I had one when I was   younger and it did kind of help me see  the board a little bit. Not anymore! Next, I have a picture of the eSight,  but it's just any wearable magnifier.  

I'm going to put this on D tier and I'm going to  also lump in um um wearable tech that includes   the magnifiers and also the OCR. They're just so  expensive. There's the iris Vision which is also   a really great product. There's orcam and there's  Envision glasses. There's a lot of new ones coming   out which I'll be featuring soon but they're just-  they're just expensive. They're usually expensive.   They're bulky, like it's like you have to have  another like piece of tech that you have to carry   around with you and just the practicality and the  cost and the preference-- it's just-- that's just   a D tier. I think they can be pretty helpful,  they just have some cons to them so for me they   go in the D tier. I think I will put it before the  optical magnifiers though. Yeah, that feels right. The next one is a white cane and for me  this is hmm-- what is a white cane for me?   It's going to be A tier and-- and  the beginning of A tier... no... yes.  

It's gonna go in front, if I  can make it go in front. Okay,   there you go. I'm at a point where if I don't  have my cane and I'm outside I feel lost. I   feel like I'm missing something which I am. And  it's really helpful honestly. There are a lot of   people who may not like using a cane. Something  I struggled with is the perception I had about  

other people looking at me and thinking about  me. People think less about you than you think.   It doesn't really matter if it helps you, I  would encourage you to use it. For me I feel more   confident with my cane than without my cane. It's  easier to ask for help. Really, if they see that I   have a cane they know-- sometimes they don't know  what that cane means-- but they know that I might   have a reason to ask for help. Whereas when I  don't have my cane, they're like, "oh why are   you asking for help?" So those are like my top  three reasons for using a cane but it is not   an S tier for me because I always get jabbed  in the stomach from it and it's not perfect.  

It doesn't detect things at waist height or head  height it's not perfect and it's not an S tier. Next is a guide dog and if you have a guide dog  don't hate me but I'm going to put the guide dog   in D tier, the last one in D tier. Okay, maybe  not... let's put it in C tier. In the end of   C tier. Yeah I think so it goes somewhere down  there. Honestly, I know a lot of people who love   having a guide dog. My dad had a guide dog when  he was working but it doesn't fit my lifestyle.  

I don't want to have to take care of a guide dog.  I already have a six-year-old to take care of and   I just can't imagine like hanging on to a guide  dog and my son and just carrying everything and   then having the frustration of ride sharing-  that I use all the time- and being denied.   Honestly I-- I-- no. Just- it's a no for me. Not  at this point of my life. Maybe sometime if I lose   more vision. If my son is older. If I need to  do a lot more traveling than I do which I mean   I don't even do-- I have hardly any traveling--  now maybe I would consider it if all of those   factors changed. then maybe I would consider  getting a guide dog. They're honestly a lot of   work and I am an animal person. I love animals,  but I just-- just-- there's just not right now.  

no. no. I don't need one. not right now. I'd  rather have a pet-- like just give me a pet.   All the guide dog users out there are going  to disagree with me and I'm sorry go ahead   and make your own tier list um and you can  put them in S tier if you want but really   for me this is my tier list and they  go in C- they go in C tier. I'm sorry. Next is low vision products.  Bold line paper, markers,   things like that. They are very affordable  but honestly I don't particularly use them.  

I'm going to put them in D tier. I think they can  still be really useful. I don't really use them. I   love the markers that's probably what I use more  than like bold line paper because my phone has   taken over everything that these products used to  do like large print clocks. Well I have a really   large print clock on my phone. Writing-- I can  do that on my computer or on my phone and make   it even larger. I'm really bad and I can't read my  own writing. For me it's going to be a D tier. At  

the end of the D tier. it's the least useful for  me and I just rather use my phone or my computer. Next we have talking items. Talking watches,  Talking Clocks, all those things they are--   they're also going to go in D tier. They're  going to be right before the low vision products.  

Yup that's we're gonna put them. I  used to work at a low vision center   and talking watches were a nightmare.   Everything was talking everything had it like an  every hour chime, everything had an alarm... I   don't know it drove me crazy. I just use my phone  for all these things sure there are things like  

talking scales those are really helpful and I do  have a talking kitchen scale but they honestly are   just made so cheaply and I really don't like their  quality. I use it all the time but it's just not   great quality and they can also cost significantly  more than something that doesn't talk. Oh the next one are bump dots and  other things like that-- like rubber   bands and things like that. Oh this is going to go  

in-- Hmm this is gonna go I think in A tier. Yeah  they are really inexpensive and they help so much   with the microwave, with the washing machine,  with the dryer like all-- with the treadmill--   things like that. It's so useful to have bump dots  even rubber bands and different size rubber bands,   certain different number of rubber bands on  like medicine they are much faster than pulling   out your phone and trying to scan something  or pulling out another device and trying to   scan something like that. I like some of the  very low Tech solutions are the way to go. Next are accessible crosswalks.  This is going to probably be   C tier for me. I live in North Carolina. I live  in a small town in North Carolina that do not  

believe in sidewalks. It drives me nuts. I would  have these accessible crosswalks and these little   bumpy things and trails if I had them. If I had  access to them. If I could use them... they would   go much higher on the list, but unfortunately, I  don't live in a place that I can even use these. I   think that if I lived in a pretty big city that  had these-- oh they'd probably go in A tier,   but for me this is going in C tier because  I'm salty that I don't have access to these.

Next one are standalone book players like NLS-  the the big player that they give or the blaze ET,   EZ, the Victor reader stream, the  bookport plus... This is going to go   and the end of C tier. They can be pretty pricey  but one thing I really do like about them is that   it's made for somebody visually impaired and they  just have those tactile buttons. And sometimes   those are so much better than a touch screen,  trying to do gestures like it's so much easier   to press a pause button than it is to like unlock  your screen and do a two-finger double tap. Oh,  

but they're limited because of their affordability  and how specialized they are. And if you are the   type of person that really likes having those  physical keys, they are invaluable but for me   personally I just use the phone. I do have a--  what do I have? A blaze e t somewhere floating   around in a box or in a drawer or something and I  did use it more previously. Especially when I was   going to school and in different circumstances  I think they can be super helpful. Again like   going to school. I used to record lectures and  had had my textbooks on there. It was nice. Our last category are apps. So first, audio  book apps like Libby and Audible and LibriVox  

and uh BARD. I love reading. They make my life so  much better. They're going to go in A-- B tier.   Audible can get expensive...BARD  doesn't always have good narrators.   They also don't have like recently published books  which I like a lot of. BARD is a great service,   don't get me wrong, but it's just  gonna go in B tier. It's great for   entertainment but it's not that useful  overall in other aspects of my life.

Then we have WeZoom. This is going to be an S  tier-- at the end of S tier. I have the WeZoom   logo but this also goes for magnifier apps on  phones like the iPhone magnifier app as well.   It's- it's amazing. Technology has gone so far. I  use a magnifier all the time and it just helps me   do everything all the time, but now I'm so glad  that camera technology has gone forward so much   that using like a- a magnifier app is better in  a lot of cases than a CCTV or portable CCTV. And   typically they're free. So compared to  a CCTV- which still has its use cases-  

free versus two, three, four thousand?   I'm gonna go with free definitely. Plus it's  always on my phone and I always carry my phone. Next are OCR apps. This is going to be in a tier  right after a white cane I think. This includes   Google lookout, seeing AI, Envision AI, Super  Sense all those apps that use your smartphones   camera to look at objects and identify them or  read text- take a picture of text and turn it into   text that your screen reader can read or that you  can read on your phone. They're amazing. They're  

so helpful. They're usually free. I mean seeing  Ai and Google look at are completely free. There   are some paid versions of course. They have helped  me so much but I can't put them in S tier because   they're not perfect they have not reached their  potential. So actually you know what? I think I'm   Gonna Keep it in A tier, but I'm gonna put it at  at the end of A tier... you know... in the middle   of it-- like right after a human. Yeah, that feels  good. That feels right. Maybe in a few years this  

will change and the algorithms and the technology  will get a lot better and we'll be-- we'll have   a better experience but overall I think they're  great but um they can make really bad mistakes. Next are ride sharing apps. Okay this is  going to be in the beginning of B tier.   right here. I love ride sharing apps like uber  and Lyft. We don't have good bus service here.   There's no sidewalks to get to the bus station.  Paratransit basically doesn't go anywhere- or   almost anywhere. And Paratransit has so many  problems like the 40 minute window that it's   supposed to be is really more like a two hour  window. That's if they come at all. And then  

you have to wait on the bus for so long-  oh my goodness! Ride sharing is amazing but   really pricey and that's why it's going to go in  B tier. If it was less expensive I'd probably put   it higher... I'm waiting for self-driving cars.  If you haven't heard, Waymo has self-driving cars   that come to you kind of like a ride sharing,  but with no driver and they're doing this in--   where is it? I can't remember where it is? Is it  Phoenix? Was it from Phoenix? I can't remember.   It's basically open to the public and there  was a completely blind person who rode with   his guide dog. it was on double tap podcast. It  was amazing. I love it. I'm waiting for it to   come here but I'm probably going to wait forever,  so one day maybe I'll move to a bigger city that   has this. I think it's amazing and I can't wait.  I can't wait for this technology to move forward. The next one is be my eyes. This is kind of  like a person, but it's kind of not it's an app.  

So this is going to go- I think it's gonna go  in... it's gonna go in the end of B tier for me. Be my eyes is a great app that connects you  to a volunteer that can help you through   what they see on your smartphone's  camera. There are good volunteers,   there's not so good volunteers. It's  not secure- again- these are volunteers   um but it's free. You can also use the  specialized help to call NFB and Google   and Microsoft and their accessibility teams  which I think are great. Actually I'm gonna  

move it up in B tier-- probably here-- I'm gonna  put it in right after dictation probably... Okay   yeah that feels better. I just don't use it all  the time because I don't know about you I don't   always want a sighted person to help me. I'm  gonna kind of try to do it on my own. I would  

rather struggle with an OCR app a lot of the  times or or an object recognition app then call   be my eyes. Sometimes it is more convenient, but  it's just feels a little less independent for me. And the last one for today is Aira  which is a visual interpreting service.   Um this is going to go in C tier.  Yeah this is gonna go in C tier.   Do I feel...? Yeah it's gonna go in C tier right  after the tablet. It's expensive but the service   is really great. They are trained agents um  there's a lot of capabilities and if you're   in an access point, you can call Aira anytime. If  you go to Starbucks, you can ask Aira for help.  

If you're looking for a job, if you're a small  business owner... Intuit sponsors Aira minutes--   I think-- I think if I remember correctly---  it's like 150 minutes per month, 30 minutes   per call-- something like that. They  recently increased their prices and if   I've done a video already I will link that in  the video cards and in the description below. Okay oh my goodness! We have  finished the tier list! Here it   is! I will read it off to you and see  if there's anything I need to change.

In S-tier first a smartphone, then computer,   then screen reader, screen  magnifier, Braille, and WeZoom. In A tier there's a white cane,  display accommodations, humans,   OCR apps, audio description, and like bump  dots and other low-tech Solutions like that. In B tier, we have ride sharing apps, dictation,  be my eyes, a standalone CCTV, and audiobook apps. In C tier, I have a tablet, Aira, guide dog,  accessible crosswalks, and like those little bumpy   thingies on the- on the road, and on the sidewalks  I mean, and then standalone book players. In D tier we have wearable technology,  Optical magnifiers, talking like devices,   and low vision products that are larger. I  think I feel pretty good about those rankings.   Sometimes I feel like they change depending on  the day and depending how frustrated I am with   a particular piece of AT, but that I think  is my 2022 assistive technology tier list.

I'd love to hear your thoughts,  your comments, uh your opinions,   your tier lists, yeah that would be  awesome! What do you think is the best   AT for you? What do you think of my tier  list? Do you completely disagree? I'm sure   some of you do, especially those guide  dog users... I'm so sorry not sorry... If you like this video, give it a like and  if you're interested in more technology   and accessibility subscribe. Thanks for  watching and I'll catch you in the next one!

2023-02-03 04:05

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