Label Your World: Practical Products for the Visually Impaired

Posted by Alicia Baucom on Jul 24th 2020

Labels can be found everywhere. Sometimes they are useful and sometimes they are just in the way. Depending on the definition they can also be insulting or a way of division. Labels can also be a necessity in a well-organized home especially for person with visually impairments. This blog will look more in depth at three types of labeling systems highlighted with this week’s sales. They include the WayAround Starter Pack, HALOS Home Package, and the Talking Label Wand.

WayAround Starter Pack

How they work: The WayAround product line is a combination of smartphone app and physical WayTags™ that allows you to tag and label nearly everything in your environment. Download the free app for either iPhone or Android onto your own smartphone. Attach one of the different shaped tags to clothing, food products, files, medicines and more. Create a label for that tag on your phone by either typing or recording your message for that tag into the WayAround app. Add custom description for any item plus more details like washing instructions or purchase and expiration dates. To identify that item in the future, scan your smart phone over the item, and the item information is displayed on the phone. WayAround works with the accessibility settings on your phone. To hear your information spoken aloud, turn on VoiceOver or TalkBack to hear that information out loud. The WayAround Starter Pack gives you a sampling of all of the different WayTags™, so you can try them out and decide which you like best. This Starter Pack contains 60 WayTags, including stickers, magnets, buttons, and clips. Square WayTag products work on metal objects. The starter pack includes: ~ 10 WayClips™ ~ 5 On-metal WayClips ~ 15 WayTag stickers ~ 5 On-metal WayTag stickers ~ 10 On-Metal WayTag magnets ~ 5 WayTag 2-hole buttons ~ 10 WayTag oval hole buttons Nearly every item of your house can be labeled with an applicable WayAround product. Use the square on-metal tags to label any metal can in your pantry. (Metal interferes with NFC technology, so therefore special tags are required.) Use a clip tag with a rubber band or a hairband to attach a tag to all the bottles and vials in your bathrooms. The buttons (either with two holes or one long oval hole) can also withstand extreme temperatures and can be used on items in the freezer. Some people are also using the waterproof buttons to label plants and gardens, identifying each plant with information for species, fertilizer and watering information. How fun! Below is a screenshot from a short YouTube Video showing how this system works. To purchase other WayAround items just click on WayAround. 

HALOS Home Package

HALOS stands for Home Appliance Labeling and Overlay System. The concept was created from a crowd-funded experiment to test tactile appliance overlays for the visually impaired. It was discovered that there is a need to standardize on tactile cues and provide helpful overlays for people to identify all the functions on their home appliances. ILA (and their sister store LS&S) is one of the only authorized sellers of this product.  For more information see Tangible Surface Research, LLC. The HALOS tactile icon stickers are designed to represent common appliance features. The stickers are thick so you can feel the different shapes. For example, start button stickers are triangle shapes, stop button stickers are in the shape of an X, and timers are an hourglass shape. The HALOS Home Package provides labels for nearly all the appliances in your home.  This package contains 60 tactile stickers to include start/stop stickers (which encompass stop/cancel, start, on, off, clock, and timer), cooking (bake/roast, broil, convention, warming, defrost, auto/smart, increase/decrease, power level, light), washing (heavy load, light load, temperature, hot, medium, cold, auto/smart, rinse, spin) and keypad 12 round flat stickers and 2 dome stickers (to help differentiate numbers on a keypad). Choose between black or orange stickers. Below is a screenshot from a brief YouTube video showing how these stickers work.  To purchase other HALOS items that ILA sells just click on HALOS.

Talking Label Wand

The Talking Label Wand is a combination microphone and player of the specialized self-adhesive labels that are provided with this unit. Now you can label anything and everything by simply pressing a button while the tip is touching one of these labels. Press the play button while touching a recorded label and hear the wand play whatever has been recorded. Create memos, notes to self, appointments, phone numbers, addresses, medication instructions, CDs, virtually anything with this handy digital label recorder. Highlights from Instructions: The Talking Label Wand comes with 160 round tactile labels and 72 rectangular washable labels. These labels can get wet and still work. While the unit is turned on, touch the wand tip to a label that you want to record. If it plays back an existing message, then the label has previously been used and is not blank. If the label is unused, you will hear “This is a new label.” Labels can be re-recorded and re-used multiple times. The Talking Label Wand comes with a 2 GB micro SD card already installed for up to 120 hours of recording. If more memory is needed, an additional SD card may be purchased separately. Product features: ~ Allows you to record your own talking labels for items at home, school or work ~ Provided with self-adhesive tactile labels for recording on and then triggering the wand to play back the recordings ~ Record messages to identify specific items, special dates, and more ~ A terrific way for low vision and Blind users to identify their things with the greatest of ease ~ Record notes or memos to themselves or others ~ Provided with 232 mixed sized tactile labels that can be re-recorded over and over ~ 2GB of built-in memory for storage ~ Features five distinct volume settings, a 3.5mm headphone jack for utilizing your own ear buds or headphones ~ Convenient loop at the top of the wand for placing a string, chain or lanyard to hang this talking label wand ~ Operates on 2 AAA batteries (not included) Image below is from the product page.  You may purchase additional labels from this link.  To see what’s currently on sale at ILA please sign up for our newsletter, view our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, or visit our website.