Friday, January 31, 2014

Macular Degeneration - Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

You may want to subscribe to this e mail newsletter about Macular Degeneration. I have found it to be helpful in keeping up with new information.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Spread the Love

"He's making a list, checkin it twice. Gotta find out.." oops, wrong holiday! Christmas isn't the only time of the year when you may need some gift ideas for the loved ones and children in your life.

Our friends at the American Foundation for the Blind have compiled a holiday gift guide just for Valentine's Day. The list includes many gifts for visually impaired children and ideas on how to make the day special.  

Click here to check out the list!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Eye Pal Ace Plus

                                                    Eye Pal Ace Plus

The Chicago Lighthouse is very excited to announce the arrival of Abisee's newest talking scanner, the Eye Pal Ace Plus!

Going a step above the Eye Pal Ace, the Plus features the newest technology that includes:

  • WiFi connectivity
  • Ability to send/receive email with the option of attaching voice messages and documents
  • Ability to download books from Bookshare

Features of the Eye Pal Ace & Plus include:

  • Scan & Read documents
  • Headphone accessible
  • Appx. weight: 3.5 lbs
  • Easy-to-touch buttons
  • Calendar and photo upload options
  • Document storage

Click here to visit the Tools for Living Retail Store & shop today!

Monday, January 27, 2014

If you want to know how Google Glass could help you, follow the link below!

Wearable Technology Like Google Glass Can Drastically Improve The Lives Of People With Disabilities, Here’s Why

Magnilink S portable CCTV/OCR impresses

The new Magilink Student portable CCTV, now called Magnilink S, works with a laptop, computer monitor or TV. There are six models available depending on what capabilities you require, each of which is built well and works flawlessly. The most high-end model features lightning fast OCR that is great for anyone who needs documents to be read to them.

Check out a video demonstrating its capabilities by following the link below. Video presented by our very own Tom Perski!

A new innovation in wearable magnification technology presents exciting possibilities

Esight Eyewear is a great new innovation from a company in Ottawa, Ontario. This wearable headgear looks like sunglasses but contains video screens in the lenses and a camera in the bridge. Using a portable control module users can zoom in and out, change colors, freeze an image and focus at near or far!

For those with a central scotoma these glasses can help you see the world around you clearly again. They have launched in Canada and are beginning only in the U.S. with the Chicago Lighthouse both in Chicago and Glenview.

To read more and see some real success stories with kids and adults in Canada click the link below! 

The Latest Exciting Edition of Tom's Corner!

Here's the latest Tom's Corner from 1/25/2014 covering things such as this very blog and the exciting collaboration between GW Micro and Microsoft.

Visit us online at to see more great tech products.

Click the link below to open a new browser window with the podcast in,  then hit spacebar to start playing the podcast!

Click here for the latest Tom's Corner!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Digital Accessible Books for Disabled Veterans

If you are a Disabled Veteran, you should take a look at this.

Not Your Average Card

Valentine's Day, the holiday to show those you love most how much they mean to you. This often means gifts of chocolate, jewelry or flowers. But why not give something that means a bit more?

The Chicago Lighthouse is pleased to be selling inBraille Valentine's Day cards. These cards were beautifully designed by Chicago artist Alisa Singer and feature both print and braille inscriptions inside. The gift of this card is a gift of support. All proceeds of these cards will be used to support and fund services for blind and visually impaired individuals provided by The Chicago Lighthouse.

Click here to shop for your valentine and give the gift that means so much more...

The Latest in Vision Research!

On-line store

Three New Techniques for Treating Age-Related Macular Degeneration - An article from AFB AccessWorld by Bill Holton

Tom's Corner Podcast 01/18/2014

On-line store

This episode of Tom’s Corner highlights Low Vision Services at the Chicago Lighthouse and the newest technology by HumanWare, the Prodigi Desktop CCTV. Clicking the link below will open up a new browser window on the Lighthouse's Soundcloud  page, then just press the space bar to start playing the podcast! 

Click here to listen to Tom's Corner!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Free copies of Window-Eyes for those with Microsoft Office!

On-line Store

GW Micro have just unveiled a new initiative in conjunction with Microsoft which give a free copy of Window-Eyes to people who have Microsoft Office 2010 or 2013. The copy of Window-Eyes is a full version however has a limited number of speech synthesizers (others are available for purchase) and technical support is charged for rather than being free as with the retail version. This initiative is global so wherever you are in the world yuo can take advantage.

We think this is a great move for the blindness community and should provide thousands of people with the ability to access their computer. Here is the press release from GW Micro:

F ort Wayne, Indiana (January 14, 2014) - GW Micro, Inc. ( is proud to make a revolutionary announcement. GW Micro and Microsoft Corp. have partnered to make Window-Eyes available to users of Microsoft Office at no cost. Window-Eyes is a screen reader that enables people who are blind, visually impaired, or print disabled to have full access to Windows PCs and makes the computer accessible via speech and/or Braille. 

To better deliver Window-Eyes to the people who need it most, GW Micro and Microsoft have collaborated on this global initiative, available in over 15 languages, to enable anyone using Microsoft Office 2010 or later to also use Window-Eyes for free.  Access to technology is critical to people who are blind or visually impaired in order to have the same opportunity to compete in the workplace. As such, this initiative between GW Micro and Microsoft has the potential to reduce barriers for millions of people who are blind or visually impaired around the world.

As the population ages, technologies like Window-Eyes will become more and more important as the number of people with age-related macular degeneration and other retinal degenerative diseases increases. "This significant change in the way we are doing business reflects the changing perception of accessibility and also technology in general.  Rather than wait for the world to change, Microsoft and GW Micro are leading the way," said Dan Weirich, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for GW Micro.  Weirich believes this technology can help millions of people gain access to their PC, and that providing it free of charge will open a whole new world of assistive technology to many people. 

In light of the rapidly changing face of technology and specifically, the changing face of assistive technology, the combined efforts of GW Micro and Microsoft have the goal of providing accessibility to people who are blind and visually impaired for the long term.  

Microsoft continues to take accessibility seriously.  “By partnering with GW Micro in this endeavor we are demonstrating Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to provide all of our customers with the technology and tools to help each person be productive in both their work and personal lives.” said Rob Sinclair, Chief Accessibility Officer for Microsoft.

Eligible customers, using Microsoft Office 2010 or higher, will be able to download a full version of Window-Eyes starting today at  The website provides download instructions as well as additional details about this offer.

GW Micro, Inc. ( has been a trusted pioneer in the adaptive technology industry since 1990, and continues to lead with innovative, customer driven solutions.

Contact: Dan Weirich, VP of Sales and Marketing 
(260) 489-3671

Welcome to our Technology Blog!

Keeping abreast of Low Vision Technology is one of our goals here at the Chicago Lighthouse for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired.  We are serving thousands of blind and visually impaired people each year and see ourselves as a leader in the sales, support, and expertise in low and high tech products and services. Visit us at Let our retail store staff help you find what you need.  Call 1-800-919-3375.