Monday, December 29, 2014

Improve Your Quality of Life - Give us a Call!

Well the Holidays are almost over and it's nearly time to start the new year already, time sure flies! If you have a visual impairment then maybe your new year's resolution this year should be to find out what technology is out there that might improve your quality of life. 

Every year here at The Chicago Lighthouse we get new technology which can help in every aspect of a visually impaired person's life, from cooking and cleaning to reading, writing, using a computer and more. It seems that the latest breakthrough is always on the horizon and if there is something you want to do as a visually impaired person there is more than likely a way to do it with the right gear!

So this year why not make a decision to help yourself and find out what might help improve your quality of life. Give us a call Monday to Friday 9-5 CST at 312-997-3649 and we would be more than happy to discuss the latest and greatest in gear for the visually impaired with you. And don't forget, you can subscribe to our Youtube Channel ( to keep up to date with our latest gear reviews and thoughts. 

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

TuneIn app now for Android

If you want to play Christmas music non-stop through the holidays but don't know where to turn then this could be for you....

TuneIn radio now has an app for Android phones so you can stream radio stations and podcasts for free and on the go! TuneIn has had an app for iOS for a number of years but now thankfully it has moved to Android also, meaning those with Android based phones can enjoy the thousands of radio stations and podcasts offered by the service. 

TuneIn is also completely accessible with Talback as well as Android's magnification features making it perfect for those with a visual impairment. 

If this sounds like something you would like get on the Google Play store now and download for free!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Take a look at this informative blog on low vision!

We have discovered a fantastic blog  called the 'Low Vision Assistive Technology Users Group' which we encourage everyone to check out. The blog is written by professionals in the low vision field, and people with low vision themselves. The blog covers the medical aspects of low vision, as well as advice for those who have low vision. You can see it here and also check it any time by using the link on the right of our blog. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Vario Ultra, a Braille Display for the Modern Age

The Vario Ultra is the latest Braille Display from Baum USA, and features some great additions that our blind tech guru is very excited about. Top of the list is its ability to connect to 4 different Bluetooth devices and 1 USB device simultaneously. This is a great feature for those who have a smart phone, laptop, desktop and tablet and want to have them connected to their Braille display without having to go through the pairing process each time they wish to connect to a different device. 

As well as this the display features note-taking capabilities and smooth, crisp Braille. We think it will be a winner and as soon as we have one we will of course make a video review. In the meantime, make sure to check out our other reviews at: !   

Edit: Here's the Video :-)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Self-Driving Cars Come One Step Closer to the Streets....

Google's self-driving cars have been around for a while now in the testing stages, and have shown impressive results with navigation and safety. The potential for this technology for the blind and low vision community is massive, as it could being a great degree of independence back to a huge number of people. Another milestone was reached recently when Google were granted permits in California to test the vehicles on the road. Before long this technology could be making an impact in your life, so start saving those pennies!

See here for more info!

New Look!

We have been experimenting with a new look for our blog and our Youtube Channel ( to spice things up a bit. New look, same great content, let your friends know the Chicago Lighthouse tech team is there to help with any blind and low vision tech needs!

Let us know in the comments any feedback you have on the new look, good or bad!

Friday, December 12, 2014

The KNFB Reader App is Here!

The KNFB Reader app has landed and is proving to be an excellent tool for doing OCR on the go. Working on a number of iDevices the app lets you do OCR on single or multi-page documents very quickly and accurately. We have found it very easy to use and a great tool at a fraction of the cost of a dedicated OCR device. But don't just take our word for it, check out the video below to see for yourself!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A New and Accessible way to Stream Audio and Video Content to your TV

Until now, the only accessible way for someone to stream video content directly to his/her TV was by using the Apple TV which came with Apple’s VoiceOver screen reader. That however has changed with the introduction of Google’s Nexus Player. The Nexus Player is a small circular device that can connect to any TV via an HDMI cable and stream audio and video content from many popular services such as Netflix and Pandora with new services being added every day. Someone who is blind or visually impaired has full access to the device by turning on TalkBack which is Google’s equivalent to Apple’s VoiceOver.

Although turning on the accessibility features does require sighted assistance initially, once turned on a blind or visually impaired user is able to easily use the simple remote to control the device with full spoken feedback. Unlike the Apple TV the Nexus Player allows for the user to dictate using a microphone built into the remote. This voice control allows for one to open apps and play music without having to enter text using the on screen keyboard. Whether you are a fan of Google or not, it is wonderful to have another option to stream audio and video to one’s TV and the Nexus Player has come out just in time for the Holidays and costs just $99!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Reading on the go and on the cheap....

For those in the know the Victor Reader Stream is a go to device, featuring great audio options for listening to DAISY books, MP3's, MP4's, wave files and more. The latest version even contains WiFi capabilities that allow you to download books, listen to podcasts, stream radio stations and more without needing a computer.

If you don't already know about this great device, check out the video review below, and if you like what you see then get to our online store fast! Until 12/31 the Victor Reader has $50 off (applied in the cart) making it just $319 + tax.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Gift Buying Made Easy - But Be Quick!

It's that time of year again and at The Chicago Lighthouse we are all hyped for the Holidays! We know, however, that it can be an expensive time and with that in mind we have put into effect some great offers - these will only last until 12/31 though so get them while you can! Treat a loved one, a friend - or yourself (you deserve it).

Offer 1 - $100 off any used CCTV under $1000, $200 off any used CCTV over $1000

Offer 2 - $100 off a new Smartlux handheld electronic magnifier

Offer 3 - $200 off any new model of the Veo CCTV

Offer 4 - $50 off a new Victor Reader Stream 2nd Generation