Thread: Devices for the blind Board: All Saints / Ship of Fools.

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Posted by Uncle Pete (# 10422) on :
I am looking for two items. The major criterium is that they must be available in India.

The first is a talking watch for the blind. That one is easy enough, but items located are not in the format desired (wrist watch)

The second thing is an audio books reader. Amazon keeps bumping me to Kindle, which, AFAIK, is a visual reader.

This has stumped searchers in India, who have spoken to me. It is stumping me, I know that such things are available, but my technology is 50 years old.

What I need at this point are people who have better google-fu than me, and who know the modern technological terms.

Please help. I am sure that the items are out there.

(I know that this should probably go in the general questions thread, but I do not want answers to get all mixed up with others. Plus, these two things are urgently needed.)

Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
Kindle has an app called Audible that allows you to listen to audio books on your Kindle. That's probably why it keeps trying to sell you a Kindle.

I have another free app on mine called OverDrive, which can handle audiobooks and is the app recommended by my public library for borrowing ebooks and audio ebooks.

Sorry, I don't know much else that would be of use.
Posted by Landlubber (# 11055) on :
I have been seeking audio book solutions for my husband who has that disease which has its own hell thread, followed by a stroke (hence my reading but not posting for a long time - the hell thread would have been a monologue).

I have not found the perfect answer, but there will be other shipmates with more experience.

The Amazon service is called Audible. It does work on some Kindles, but not all (search for their Help pages). It should work on tablets and mobile 'phones as well. (Disclaimer: we have not used audio books from Amazon so I do not know how easy it is to use a Kindle.)

You might already know the information below and have rejected the solutions as not suitable. Please ignore the rest if so.

Some audio books are still available on cd for use in a cd player.

Some audio books can be transferred to an mp3 player, but that a) depends on the Digital Rights and b) requires effort on the part of a carer to download and transfer them. I have found it time-consuming and complicated.

We have found the most useful gadget to be an ipad (other tablets with the right apps should do a similar job.) We download recorded electronic audio books to it. Kobo, for example, appears to operate in India. In addition, the screen-reading app will read iBooks aloud (but in a digital voice). Here (UK) we can also borrow free e-audio books from our public library.

This does require a carer to navigate to the right app, or the user to have some sight, or the user to be able to use an accessibility setting to listen and navigate to the app.

The side benefit of the tablet is that it gives the user listening access to, for example, emails. If the user has good speech, the ipad also allows them to speak their own emails instead of typing.

I look forward to reading other replies in the hope we too can find something better.


[ 23. October 2017, 12:17: Message edited by: Landlubber ]
Posted by Jengie jon (# 273) on :
A bit of googling. First I looked as RNIB and discovered that they use Daisy. Then went to look for that with Google including the words 'India' and 'books'. This led me to this page that lists solutions for using Daisy in India. I also came across the following option.

A watch is available at the same site.

Posted by la vie en rouge (# 10688) on :
Here is an Indian association for the blind with various adaptive devices, including a talking watch. I think you have to get in touch with them directly if you want to get one.
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
You can get excellent screen readers.

I will ask my blind friends.

Apparently Apple phones and iPads will read all text and you can use voice-to-text too. They use Facebook with their phones in their top pockets, I’ve seen them say ‘Facebook’ and make a post.
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
‘My kindle fire reads out books. On my iPad voiceover reads out books on my kindle app. I have an amazon echo and that reads out books and remembers your place. Rnib had a free app called overdrive , you get free audiobooks on there.”
Posted by Gracious rebel (# 3523) on :
Another excellent audiobook app is called Borrowbox - associated with public libraries. I have it on my phone and on my tablet - I can download audiobooks from the library and listen to them whenever I want to.
If you want a stand alone player for audio books that will work anywhere, I would suggest a low-tech CD Walkman as plenty of audiobooks are still produced on CDs (I listen to that type in my car....once again from the library).
Posted by The Intrepid Mrs S (# 17002) on :
Uncle Pete, I subscribe to Audible, via Amazon. This works really well with my Kindle Fire, which I got quite cheaply on a John Lewis special offer - the audiobooks download via wireless and are just there, rather than using the iPod which requires you to download the book and manipulate it into the correct folder on iTunes.

With Audible, if you don't like a book, you can send it back, and it does provide an amazing range of material and some truly excellent reader voices - I can't help thinking that an electronically-generated voice would become wearing after a while.

YM - and Wodders' - MV, of course, but for what it's worth...
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
My blind friends are all saying the same thing - Kindle, Audible and the Amazon Echo [Smile]
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
Question: When you say "must be available in India", does that mean in a store there? Or from a company that will ship to India?

I did a quick search of Amazon (US) on "watch blind talking braille". Figured it might be good to have both talking and braille, in case WW is in a place where he either needs to keep his watch quiet, or a noisy place where he can't hear the watch.

There's a variety of prices and styles. I narrowed down the search by checking the "International Shipping Available" box. There's just one, and it's $11.95. Cheaper from some other sellers. User rating is 3 1/2 stars. Possible snag: the speaker is right on top, with no cover, so could be a problem if exposed to moisture, IMHO.

It's the Classic Talking Watch by The Braille Superstore.

I also looked at Seems they only carry talking watch keychains. (Amazon US also has one.)
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
But to get him back on here - pleeeeze! - an iPad and screen reader are the answer.

Posted by Uncle Pete (# 10422) on :
Yes, Golden Key. It must be a store or available in India on North American prices are extortionate, and international shipping fees make it even more so. The same items can be obtained in India much cheaper, and with lower shipping costs.
Posted by Uncle Pete (# 10422) on :
Thank you to all who contributed. I am passing this all on to friends of WW. Depending on item costs, please watch my signature.
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
I would be happy to contribute. I'm not on the Book of Face, so I hope there will be another method to donate.

Prayers continue for Wodders... and many thanks to Pete.

Posted by Huia (# 3473) on :
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
I would be happy to contribute. I'm not on the Book of Face, so I hope there will be another method to donate.

Prayers continue for Wodders... and many thanks to Pete.


Me too.

Posted by M. (# 3291) on :
Me three.

Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
Me four
Posted by North East Quine (# 13049) on :
Me five.
Posted by Lothlorien (# 4927) on :
Gentle hostly note.

It would be a good idea, I think, to leave this thread for helpful suggestions as to ways to help WW. That keeps everything in one place. Pete is in contact, knows what is needed and there are good suggestions on this thread to explore.

When some decisions are made we can take support from there on a separate thread. Keep an eye on Pete’s signature as he asks . All support is welcomed, I think.

Lothlorien AS Host
Posted by Lothlorien (# 4927) on :
I have opened a thread for offers of support for WW
Ideas in the thread started by Pete, please, support in new thread. Thanks

Over here.
Posted by Uncle Pete (# 10422) on :
It's back to the drawing board. Kindle Audible and related books is not yet available in India. Could my technological friends please suggest an audio-book reader and books that is available there?
Posted by Barnabas Aus (# 15869) on :
Hi Pete,
I have found a post from the Quora forum dated December 2016 which indicates that the Librivox app was the only audiobook app then available in India. The audiobooks are all public domain, and the app is available for Android through the Play Store - not sure about iOS. As I recall, WW is fond of the writing of earlier eras, so this may suit. I've dipped into some of the recordings via their website, and while read by volunteers rather than professional actors, the quality of the reading seems pretty good.
Posted by Lothlorien (# 4927) on :
Pete, have sent two PMs to you after requesting help from two computer type gurus.

One comment was that Apple has done massive working and research with the blind. It may be worth trying some searches to see if there is anything to help available. Other suggestions were also made which may help.

[ 06. November 2017, 03:13: Message edited by: Lothlorien ]
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
This looks good, from a blind friend -

“This will literally revolutionise life for iphone owners who are blind and low vision. A friend posted about it earlier. There is a new FREE app from Microsoft called Seeing A I. Using your camera, it can automatically read text without buttons needing to be pressed, it can recognise faces and you can add people so it says exactly who is there. It has a mode to scan bar codes - and it will beep to i dictate whether a barcode is present. Most products will be announced. It is simply the coolest, most brilliantly ireful app. It’s free. I have no financial interest in it. It’s simply life changingly great.”

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