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Devices and Aids

This page links to information on a variety of assistive technology products, magnifying devices, braille displays, notetakers, and embossers, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing U.S. Currency Reader Program.

Accessible software applications (apps) for smartphones and other mobile devices can be used by those who are visually impaired to read books, newspapers, magazines, and other print material. These apps convert digital text to speech or provide braille output to a compatible braille device.

Accessible Mobile Reading Apps (2019)
Accessible Mobile Reading Apps (2019) [ebraille (BRF)]

GPS and Wayfinding Apps (2020)
GPS and Wayfinding Apps (2020) [ebraille (BRF)]

Assistive Technology products convert digital text or print into synthetic speech, braille, or enlarged text. Most are available from multiple vendors, which are listed below the entry along with the price points at the time this publication was compiled.

Assistive Technology Products for Information Access (2022)
Assistive Technology Products for Information Access (2020) [ebraille (BRF)]

Braille devices are used to access and represent information in braille.  Link below provides a list of available models. The page also lists the sources to purchase these items and a selection of references and resources on the subject.

Braille Displays and Notetakers (2020)
Braille Displays and Notetakers (2018) [ebraille (BRF)]

Below are lists braille embossers and the vendors that offer them and details specialized braille paper, braille translation software, and sources to purchase these items.

Braille Embossers (2020)
Braille Embossers (2020) [ebraille (BRF)]

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing BEP is providing currency readers, free of charge, to eligible blind and visually impaired individuals. For additional questions or comments about the U.S. Currency Reader Program you may call (844) 815-9388 toll-free or email [email protected]

Bureau of Engraving and Printing U.S. Currency Reader Program

NLS players are available only to individuals who cannot see to read regular print or handle print materials and who are registered for the free library service. Individuals may choose to purchase commercial digital talking-book players that are also authorized to play NLS produced talking books and magazines.

Digital Audiobook Players (2018)
Digital Audiobook Players (2018) [ebraille (BRF)]

NLS patrons who have registered for the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) service may download digital-talking books onto USB drives or customized cartridges. The page below lists sources for customized cartridges that play in the NLS Digital Talking Book Machine (DTBM):

Sources for Cartridges and Cables

Magnifying devices assist people with low vision to engage more easily in activities such as reading standard print, enjoying a hobby, or viewing a presentation by increasing the size of text and objects. Magnifiers come in many weights and styles.

Magnifying Devices (2020)
Magnifying Devices (2020) [ebraille (BRF)]

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