Vision aids for the home

On this page we will look at just some of the home aids and assistive items which can be of use to those with low vision.

Our other pages covering magnifiers and lighting equipment cover two of the most essential and priority low vision aids; here we look at other items and vision aids for the home which can make life easier and which you may not have realized are available or useful, since moving into vision loss or supporting someone who has it is a new experience for everyone.  In some cases, the portable magnification devices or magnifying glasses will not be a solution (think of using a bath scale) so special equipment is a better option.

Low vision telephones and TV remotes

These devices have enlarged buttons and labels, making it easier to see the buttons to be pressed.  For telephones, look for models with features like receiver volume control and number memory storage.

Some low vision telephones

For TV remotes, these can be simplified models showing only channel and volume controls.

Low vision TV remote controls

Low vision clocks

You can get low-vision traditional circular clocks with larger numbers, and also digital clocks with larger displays.  You should decide whether white numbers on a black background, or black numbers on a white background are clearer for you; there are also attractive clocks available with vivid color backgrounds like orange or yellow, which are designed for those with low vision issues such as macular degeneration.  

Some low vision clocks

You can also consider a talking clock

Low vision bathroom scales

Digital scales with enlarged numbers, or traditional dial scales with clear measurements are available, since portable magnification of the scale you are standing on will likely not work.

Browse low vision bathroom scales

Low vision stickers

Useful stickers with bold labels can be stuck to the often poorly visible controls of home equipment like washing machines, dryers and microwaves to enable those with low vision to continue to use them successfully, as an alternative to the need for a portable magnifier to be carried.

See low vision stickers

Large print books, address books

While large print books can be ordered from many online bookstores, low-vision designed items like calendars and address books are harder to find.  These can make life easier, and checks and deposit registers in large print are also available.

Low vision watches

These watches, with versions for men and for women, have enlarged big and bold numbers on their faces, making the time easier to check for those with conditions like retinitis pigmentosa or macular degeneration. Brands on offer include the Timex Easy Reader and the Reizen low vison quartz watch.  Most of these watches have black number on white or white number on black options.

Low vision radios

Radios designed for or with features appreciated by those with reduced vision have large controls and displays, and often have bigger than normal tuning dials.  Another innovation, specifically made for the visually impaired, is a set where all functions of the radio are spoken.

Large control button radios are hard to find, but here is one inexpensive example.

Glare and UV light protective Sunglasses

Those with compromised eyesight and who are photosensitive have to protect themselves from further damage from over-bright sunlight and ultraviolet rays.  This particularly applies to those with macular degeneration or retinal disorders like floaters or retinitis pigmentosa.  Protective eyewear in the form of sunglasses can help – either as ‘fit over’ models, which you wear with your normal eyeglasses, or clip-ons which can be fitted easily.  There is some evidence that blue light from LEDs screens can also be harmful, and yellow-tinted or amber glasses can help to block this.

Tinted glasses for UV protection

Low vision calculators

These useful calculators have large, easy to read displays. Scientific models and print-capable models are also available.  For talking calculators, see our talking aids page.

Low vision sewing and hobby aids

Even those without low vision would find an inexpensive needle threader handy, while self-threading needles and magnified seam rippers are also available.

See different types of low vision sewing aids

Low vision timers

These timers for kitchen timing and other home uses can be analog or digital.  They are characterized by large and bold numbers and simple intuitive controls.  Some models for kitchen use are water-resistant, and some are magnetic.

Browse low vision timers