Best Educational Tools for the Blind and Visually Impaired

When it comes to learning and acquiring skills, blind and visually impaired people face unique challenges. This is because the conventional education system is structured in such a way that students must receive and process most information through sight.

Although we have five senses, visual cues account for 80% of what we learn. So, hearing and touch cannot fully compensate for the lack of sight.

Fortunately, technological innovations have led to the development of various assistive tools to tackle such problems. Many of these tools are intended to help people with visual disabilities to excel in different spheres of education. So, they help to improve their outcomes, irrespective of how much they can see.

Let us look at some of the most popular assistive tools for blind and visually impaired people and how are they useful.

Audio Books

Audio books are books in digital audio formats like MP3. They are available as CDs, DVDs and downloadable files on the internet. These books allow students with learning disabilities to access literature or educational material.

Good audiobooks will have a narrative that is easy to follow, with the right speed and pauses at the right places.

If you decide to stop mid-way, these books will allow you to bookmark that instance and start from there the next time. You will also be able to replay different parts and jump forward or backward to access other chapters.

Audio books are portable and convenient to use. You can listen to them on a mobile device, CD player or computer. Audiobooks are available on most subjects and topics. Stories, novels, and poems are also available in audio format. These can provide entertainment during your leisure time.

Language Learning Tools

One of the best things about learning a language is that it does not have to be visual. It can be learned using a multi-sensory approach. This means that students can take in language with other senses like hearing or touch and gain the same level of understanding as with visual aids.

Learning a foreign language can be very beneficial for those with visual impairments. Not only will it be recreational, but it will also improve your knowledge of a new language. For students whose native language is not widely spoken, learning a foreign language can also open the door to future education and career opportunities.

Sight-based teaching material for languages is unsuitable for blind students. So, school-based language curriculum is usually delivered using Braille textbooks for such students.

Unfortunately, there are very limited resources available in the form of Braille lines or other reading devices for foreign languages. This can restrict your chances to understand and master a new language if you are visually impaired.

Fortunately, bilingual audio books can overcome these gaps.

Bilingual Audio Books as Language Learning Tools for the Blind

Did you know that one of the most effective ways to learn a new language is through stories?

Research suggests that stories help learners to learn a language better as they are interesting and memorable.

Bilingual Audio Books (BABooks) use this concept to help people to learn foreign languages. They can act as primary or supplementary study material to understand and learn a language.

You can find bilingual audiobooks for many interesting stories. When you play them, you will first listen to a few sentences of the story in one language. This is followed by the translation of the same sentences in another language. According to the level of your knowledge, you can listen first to the language you are learning, and check your understanding thanks to the following translation or, if you are a beginner or a low intermediate, you better listen to your own language first, then listen to its translation. Bilingualaudiobooks.com provide you with both orders of recordings.

There are audiobooks in any combination of English, French, German and Spanish, but not every title exists in every combination.

So, by hearing the same story in a language you know and one that is new, you slowly familiarize yourself with the new language.

With a digital bilingual audiobook, you also have the option to replay the story as many times as you need. Not only will this help you better understand the story, but it will also help to maintain continuity. So, isn’t it a simple, yet effective way to learn a foreign tongue?

Bilingual audiobooks are also available at different levels. You can start at the beginner level books and slowly build your way towards the expert level by listening to books of increasing linguistic difficulty.

Since bilingual audio books are available in MP3 formats, you can access them on both mobile devices and computers. They can be downloaded as ZIP files and stored on mobile phones, tablets, desktops and laptops.

Finally, bilingual audiobooks are very reasonably priced and hence are budget-friendly language learning tools.

Screen Readers

In today’s technology-driven times, we cannot overlook the importance of using the internet for daily needs. However, the blind and visually impaired can find it very difficult to operate visual displays on computers and handheld devices to access the web.

Fortunately, screen readers can help you understand and navigate the web. Screen readers are software tools that assist auditory learners and those with visual impairment conditions to use electronic devices.

They have a speech synthesizer or braille display system that can be connected to a computer. Users can send commands using a keyboard or braille display. The screen reader will then convey what is displayed on the computer screen using non-visual means.

Most screen readers will read what is displayed on the screen from top to bottom. It also allows a user to navigate between web pages, links or headings on a page. So, blind or visually impaired students can use it to identify what is displayed on a computer or device screen without having it read to him or her.

This is an amazing technology as it will allow you to access information without having to depend on anyone. You will be able to access the web without sacrificing your privacy and at your convenience.

Final takeaway…

Educational tools like audio books, bilingual audio books, and screen readers can significantly improve the chances of learning and overall outcomes for blind and visually impaired people. These tools can help to improve academic performance, explore new career paths and discover better opportunities. But most importantly, they foster independence by giving blind and visually impaired people access to the information they deserve to know.

A Fresh Approach To Promoting Your Business: Custom Mugs

Drink Branders, LLC prints your logo on quality drinkware.https://www.drinkbranders.com/

In a world of cookie cutter promotional materials such as notepads with company letterheads, ballpoint pens, and fridge magnets, there is a new alternative that has far more impact on your company’s success with advertising: custom mugs. Of course, all of these items have their moments, but there certainly is a better way to send a message to consumers about your business. A message that says that your company is thoughtful, mindful of its customers and in tune with their needs. It also makes a statement that your business is ready to go that little bit further to gain a customer’s confidence and favor.

Having something to hand out that has a bigger effect, such as a travel mug, makes this statement with a wow factor that simply isn’t present when a prospective client receives a key fob. When are where does your team encounter the opportunity to give out such goodies? The chances are all around you to win over a new customer; it’s just a matter of looking for them.

Community Events and Drumming Up Business

The most effective way to gain business is usually through community events. These can be events that your business directly sponsors or events where your presence is welcomed for your company’s other contributions. These events come in the form of parades, charity events, local festivals, and even during locally organized contests. Custom mugs elevate the message that your business cares. These items are certainly going to be put to use by a greater number of people than a fridge magnet would.

In fact, because a fridge magnet or pen has as much sincerity as handing out business cards, you can feel confident that the gesture of offering a custom mug will go much farther towards winning over new customer and keeping the faithful ones flocking to your company.

Acquiring Business Through Offering Jobs

Custom mugs adorned with your business’s logo are not a typical choice, but when looking for corporate promotional items, it is important to keep in mind the longevity of the item and how versatile it can be as a free gift.

A job fair or career day can be the perfect place to give out such materials. People who are actively involved in the community are bound to take notice when their sons and daughters come home with a stylish stainless steel travel mug and it has your logo on its side.

It is, again, a way of showing that your business isn’t all about profits, and this can mean the difference between your firm landing a new client when the competition fell slightly short of customer expectations.

The Gift of Gratitude

Although gifts given out for customer appreciation can be quite hokey, choosing a custom travel mug can be an impressive alternative to a coupon. A client has already used your services and may have spent a great deal money working with you to achieve a goal; the last thing they want to receive is an underhanded ‘gift’ that is really just asking them to spend more of their money with you. It seems fake and can be misconstrued as tactless and greedy.

Discounts and coupons should be given to new customers not clients who are already helping keep you in business. Although promotional items can be costly, the returns should far outweigh any costs when custom mugs are used. This is because a customer who feels appreciated is more willing to come back than a customer who feels like they are being bribed into repeat business.

Keeping It Simple

Every client that is won over is another drop in the proverbial bucket, but having items at your disposal that are simple but memorable will see better returns than investments made into intricate three up fliers and long-winded sales pitches over the radio. The key is keeping it simple.

A logo says nothing but that you are available when a client needs you. The promotional materials they use should have a certain level of distinction that doesn’t come off as begging for money or business.

This sets off a chain reaction of questions that can ultimately result in your business being labeled as the operation in town that has to bend over backwards to pay its office’s monthly lease. Furthermore, people begin to wonder why it is that you have so little clientele; even if that thought couldn’t be further from the truth.

Handing out a travel mug is very different from impersonal tactics that those smaller outfits use to grab business away from bigger companies. It’s a simple and smart move in the right direction.

Author’s Bio: This guest blog contribution was submitted was submitted by the folks over at DrinkBranders.com.