Mobility is an essential element in everyone’s quality of life. Limited mobility will significantly complicate the extent to which you enjoy your life and handle your activities of daily living. Luckily this is not the case nowadays with the advent of a broad range of mobility aids.
When most people think of mobility aids, however, they only visualise individuals who use a wheelchair and those who have skeletal issues that affect their walking. There are however many impairments that might affect your mobility other than skeletal problems.
Blindness is one of these. Independent living equipment is essential for those who are wholly or partially blind since their ability to navigate different environments without help is affected. In the past, the visually impaired have only been associated with the white cane.
This seemingly simple device has for ages helped and is still helping the blind find their way around. Now developers have come up with various electronic devices which further enhance the mobility and independence of the visually impaired. The following are some of these electronic mobility devices.
The laser cane is an electronic cane which uses invisible laser beams for the detection of drop-offs, obstacles, and other hazards. Once it detects any of these impediments, the cane sends out a particular audio signal.
There are three types of audio signals which all indicate specific distances from the drop-off or obstacle. Laser canes also have a vibrating handle which vibrates if an object is directly in front. This makes it ideal for the visually impaired individual who also has hearing difficulties.
Sonic Mobility Device
This appliance is mounted on a user’s hand. It employs ultrasonic technology for the detection of obstacles in their path. A sonic mobility device uses the eight tones of the musical scale to indicate certain distances from an obstacle.
It comes with an earpiece through which the specific tone is relayed to the user. This makes it ideal for outdoor use where noise might be an issue. The sonic mobility device is used with a guide dog or cane in extremely noisy places.
This small device vibrates when it detects an obstacle in the direction it is pointed to by its user. The vibration the device produces primarily depends on the user’s distance from the obstacle.
A faint vibration generally indicates a far object while a strong one shows the barrier is nearby. It is recommended that you use a handheld device with a cane to enhance your safety.
These are mainly used by visually impaired individuals who are driving, but they also suffice for those who are walking on a new route or exploring. They are generally used with screen readers to enable the users to hear the information. Some are even attached to Braille displays for the user to read the displayed information.
In the past, the visually impaired confined themselves to familiar territories. Visual impairment should however in no way affect your mobility or that of your loved one today. With the devices mentioned here, they can now confidently travel on their own and to unfamiliar territories.