Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Costs robbing the blind


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Prohibitive costs and insufficient funding are robbing the blind and visually impaired in Barbados of access to equipment that would improve their lives.
This was disclosed yesterday by president of the Barbados Association for the Blind and Deaf, Elviston Maloney, who said: “A lot of the persons are readily accepting the gadgets and trying to be independent, and the association has found itself in a situation where they cannot meet the demand because of the cost of most of the items.”
Maloney was speaking as Barbados joined the world in recognizing World Sight Day.
He said the association had tried to assist by importing some of the items but had been constrained in its efforts because it depended heavily on donations.
The Centre for the Blind and Deaf opened its doors yesterday to children from several of the island’s schools to give them  the opportunity to see a rangeof assistive devices.
Maloney said there was a long and growing list of gadgets that improved the professional, personal or recreational life of the blind and the visually impaired, such as blood pressure machines, glucose monitors and drop dispensers for administering drops to the eyes, watches with Braille or audio and liquid level indicators that when attached to a vessel will alarm when the liquid reaches a certain level to tell the user to stop pouring.
The children also got to see the Braille machine and magnifiers that individuals with limited vision use for reading printed material, as well as Braille/low vision Monopoly games, Braille playing cards and draughts and other board games. (LK)

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