Updated Notice (March 25, 2020): To keep our staff and those who we serve as safe as possible during the COVID-19 outbreak, WATAP has suspended our short-term device lending, face-to-face device demonstration, and services provided through the iCanConnect WA program through at least April 6th. We will place all requests for these services on a wait list. 

Additionally, we have cancelled in-person trainings and public outreach events for the rest of March and through mid-April and will be rescheduling as many of these opportunities as possible and are considering offering some of these as webinars or teleconferences as well.

We are offering phone and online consultations as well as device demonstrations via video conferencing whenever possible. We will also be offering assistive technology webinars in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned! Follow us on FaceBook and Twitter for the latest updates and announcements.

We continue to evaluate the extent we can continue to provide our other services, so please check back for updates and do not hesitate to contact us via 800-214-8731 or watap@uw.edu. Thank you for your patience.

Everyday Tools - Seeing

Some areas that need to be addressed for persons with low vision and blindness are daily living activities such as reading, food preparation, grooming, and coordinating colors.Additional daily living activities outside the home include orientation and mobility including navigating safely by detecting obstacles, crossing the street, locating destinations, and using public transportation.

Borrow devices for everyday

GPS - Are dedicated devices or apps on mobile devices that announce current location and upcoming intersections and landmarks. Users can program destinations and specific routes so the devices will announce upcoming directions.

Echo-locators - Are dedicated devices that give haptic feedback if an object is sensed. As the user approaches the object the echo-locator will vibrate harder and faster. Echo-locator are used in conjunction with a white cane or guide dog not as a substitution.

Borrow devices for orientation & way finding

Braille Notetakers - Work similarly to personal digital assistant (PDA). Users can view and edit documents, listen to music, save and listen to Daisy books, surf the web, and check email. Some notetakers have refreshable Braille displays, some have speech output, and some have both. Users have the option between QWERTY or Perkins style keyboards. Borrow Braille devices

E-Book readers - Font size can be adjusted to make it easier for people with low vision to read.

Audio Book Players - Can play a variety of audio files and have simple, tactile navigational controls for people with no vision. The controls allow users to skip through chapters, pages, and paragraphs of a book.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) - These devices use a camera to capture an image of printed documents then use a computer generated voice to read the print out loud. Some products are standalone devices with limited, tactile, and simple to use controls. Other OCR products use a camera in conjunction with computer software which allows the user to take a picture of printed material using keyboard commands then listen to and edit the document on the computer. Borrow technology that scans and reads.

These devices can be dedicated or apps on mobile technologies. Identifiers help people with low vision or blindness identify color, objects, or denominations of money. Some devices identify products by scanning bar codes or through recordable, adhesive labels.