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Commercial Aids

Quite a few merchants sell a variety of products for blind and visually limited persons.  They offer white canes, magnifiers, Braille and talking watches, clocks, scales, thermometers and other products, specialized cooking equipment, and more. 
The Low Vision Center (LVC) is a non-profit organization that offers information services and a demonstration area containing a variety of low vision aids for sale.  Appointments are needed to visit LVC, are free of charge and available Monday through Friday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.  A typical appointment lasts about 1 to 1 1/2 hours and may include discussion of lighting and contrast, hands-on demonstration of hand-held magnifiers and CCTVs, and a chance to explore daily life aids such as talking clocks, writing guides, and touch enhancements.  LVC is located at 4905 Del Ray Avenue, Suite 504, in Bethesda, MD.  Information can be found by calling (301) 951-4444 or by visiting LVC’s web site at:

Integration Technologies Group (ITG) is a systems integration company with more than 25 years’ experience helping its customers to implement a wide variety of adaptive and information technology solutions.  Since 1992, the goal of the Accessibility Solutions Group (ASG) has been to assist its clients by providing equipment, maintenance, training courses, installation, and repair service to assure information can be used by everyone, including people with disabilities.  ITG is an authorized dealer and service center of HumanWare products.  Information can be found by calling (703) 698-8282 or by email at:
Low Vision Specialists of Maryland and Virginia has a mission to treat individuals with significant eye diseases
including Macular Degeneration (wet and dry), Stargardt’s Disease, Diabetic Retinopathy, and Retinitis Pigmentosa.  Its doctors are members of The International
Academy of Low Vision Specialists (IALVS) and are driven to improve your remaining vision with innovative medical devices, customized optical devices,
and even home visits.  For more information, call (866) 269-3916 or visit its web site at:

Computers for the Blind (CFTB), which was formerly The Texas Center for the Visually Challenged, is a volunteer organization that provides affordable refurbished
computers with accessibility software to persons who are blind or visually impaired.  Its computers are equipped with Windows 7, a licensed version of MAGic without
speech screen magnification software and NVDA screen reader software.  The computers also have trial versions of JAWS screen reader software and Talking
Typing Teacher, a talking typing tutorial software.  Training is also provided.  Information can be found by calling (214) 340-6328 or by visiting CFTB's web site at:

Project Reboot computers and Byte Back will provide free computer training at the Frederick Douglass Center, 2000 Alabama Avenue, SE, in Washington.  Project Reboot refurbishes computers and makes them available for low income families, the disabled and non-profit agencies.  Since 1997 Project Reboot has refurbished more than 15,000 computers.  Byte Back provides computer training, access
to technology, and career services to underserved adults in DC.  By combining free classes with personalized attention, Byte Back graduates gain invaluable skills, experience higher rates of self-confidence, and launch successful new careers.  For more information, call Dennis Courtney at (301) 330-0034 or visit the web site at: or
A new hotline has been established to advise consumers about purchasing and operating the top accessible home, office and personal use products on the market today.  It will be operated by the William L. Hudson BVI Workforce Innovation Center, part of Envision Inc.  The new hotline, (316) 252-2500, is staffed by trained customer service representatives who are blind or visually impaired.  For more information, visit the web site at:

The following are sites for some of the larger online merchants:

People with disabilities can find special equipment to suit their needs under the "Accessibility" section in Apple's online store.

The Assistive Technology Program for the District of Columbia is now accepting applications from persons with disabilities and seniors to purchase equipment and devices such as vision aids, medical equipment, communication devices, iPads, adaptive computers, software,  Home or Vehicle modifications and much more through its low interest alternative financing program.  Alternative Financing Programs (AFPs) are federally-funded programs which aim to provide affordable financing for assistive technology devices and services.  This financing program offers a much lower interest rate than those of a traditional bank loan, and is designed to supplement, not supplant existing Federal, State and private funding sources.  Information can be found by calling (202) 547-0198, ext. 105 or by visiting the web site at:

The following web site provides accessible manuals, guides and "cheat sheets" for operating many common items, including computers, cell and smart phones, other small electronic products, measuring tools, radio equipment and more: