Technology Equipment

At the Hub, we are very privileged to have had the generous support of several awarding bodies towards the purchase of technology. Thank you Leeds Building Society (see news article) and thank you to two other orgnisations who support our work!

Come visit our Hub to try our equipment!

Vibrating Mobile Phone Alert

Vibrating pads for mobile phone alerts and messages. This one was purchased through Connevans who have a good product range for hearing loss equipment.

image of phone vibration

Bluetooth Sound Therapy

We also have a Bluetooth Sound Therapy system at the Hub. This is a device that has a small memory card with pre-recorded sounds and noise on it to help with the relief from Tinnitus. You can set a sleep timer and listen to several sounds as you fall asleep. (You can listen to it anytime though!)

image of speaker

It’s a good device especially for travel as it’s quite small and can be easily taken with you, and you can order more sounds too.

Alexa Devices

It’s worth noting that you can try this in our hub but you can also try our Amazon Alexa enabled devices as they can perform a similar function. This usually can be accessed by asking Alexa to play “river sounds” or similar and asking Alexa to set a sleep timer. You can also ask Alexa to help you fall asleep.

We have the suite of Alexa enabled devices in the Hub too! You can try all of these!

This includes: Echo Dot, Amazon Echo, Echo Spot, Echo Plus, and Echo Show.

picture of alexa enabled devices

We have all these devices available for you to try in the Hub! We can advise you on their features and how it may help your daily living.

WiFi Plug

We also have a wifi enabled plug that is connected to a task light in the Hub that can be voice controlled. This is great to demonstrate how these devices can connect inside the home.


We also have a Ring doorbell that can be tried, this can also connect to the Echo Show and the video feed from the doorbell displayed there. It also has an audio feed so you can use the audio to talk with whoever is at your door – even when you aren’t at home.

Image of Ring doorbell

Doro Phone

The Doro phone is a convenient flip phone that allows basic calling features. You can save favourite numbers and it has a larger button view of the dial pad numbers. There is also an emergency button on the back of the phone that can be used to call for help.

doro phone image

Synapptic Tablet

These are a great device to use as the software comes preinstalled and if you accidentally close the app it will relaunch and let you know that it is about to relaunch. You can try the one in our hub and decide if it is for you. more information on their website.

image of synapptic tablet





Equipment in the Kitchen

We have many different types of demonstration equipment available for you to try. As part of our kitchen area, we can demonstrate talking scales, jugs, timers, liquid level indicators and talking microwaves.


These are small, raised, stick on plastic ‘blobs’ which come in a range of colours and shapes. They can be stuck on appliances and equipment to indicate where you are on a dial, e.g. on a washing machine, cooker or stereo.


These can make reading recipes and instructions a lot easier.

Pen friend

This will enable you to have ‘talking labels’ on almost any item which can then be read back to you whenever you need it, e.g. Books, CDs, tins, clothes or freezer goods.

Liquid level indicators

These indicate, by beeping or vibrating, when your cup is nearly full.

Other useful items:

Talking and easy to see scales, jugs, microwaves, watches, timers, tin lids, and water boil alerts.
Brightly coloured utensils and chopping boards.
Oven shelf protectors and long-armed oven gloves.
Bread cutters and choppers which keep the blade at a safe distance.
Coin holders and note detectors for money.
Eye drop dispensers, Pill organisers, Talking thermometers and Audible bath alerts.

Reading and writing

In order to be able to read and write we need to use our central or middle part of our vision.
In some eye conditions this part is damaged and so we have to try and learn to use other parts of our vision to do the job instead. This can be very tiring and frustrating. Because of this, people sometimes buy a magnifier and find that they cannot see very well with it.

For these reasons it is really helpful to have someone to show you how to make the best use of your magnifier.

Magnifiers come in all shapes and sizes and cost varies accordingly. It is very important to make sure you have had your eyes checked and your vision assessed before purchasing a magnifier. Opticians and low vision specialists are able to give you advice and some hospital and community clinics will loan magnifiers free following assessment.

If you prefer to buy your own without an assessment, magnifiers can be bought from specialist suppliers online.

Some high street outlets such as stationery shops, chemists, Argos and some craft shops will sell a small range of magnifiers for day to day tasks.

Getting around outside

Crossing roads, dealing with traffic and using public transport can difficult for all of us.
When you have impaired vision it can make it harder.Your local Social Services Department (York) has a mobility officer who can assess your needs and will be able to issue equipment, such as white canes, on a free loan and provide the training you need to get around safely and independently. Telephone them on 01904 555111.

Canes are not available in high street shops, but some of them can be bought online from specialist providers such as can be found at the RNIB Website.You are able to buy and use a Symbol cane with little or no training, but training and advice will be needed to use the Guide and Long canes safely.

Further information on equipment

We have a resource centre at The Wilberforce Trust, our Hub, where you can try equipment and have advice from one of our experts. The Hub is opened daily from 9.30am until 4.30pm and we have disabled parking right outside the front door!

We are also along the 5 & 5A bus routes. The contact page has full travel information to easily find us.

Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) Practical and emotional support for people with visual impairment

Action on Hearing Loss – Vibrating alarms Promoting safety and connectivity at home

Disabled Living Foundation – Vibrating alarms Alarms to alert you or a carer

Labelling – Penfriend Labelling tool for a wide range of items, from the RNIB

Cobolt Systems Ltd Comprehensive list of talking products

Royal National Institute for the Blind – Everyday Products Catalogue of aids to maintain independence – online or hard copy

Royal National Institute for the Blind – Magnifiers Assistance to identify the most appropriate magnifier for your needs

icSW Retail – Magnifiers Aids for independent living; specialists in magnification

Royal National Institute for the Blind – Newsagent Audio versions of national newspapers and magazines.

Calibre Audio Library – Talking Books Talking Books, including DAISY CDs and Calibre USB drives.

Large Button Telephone Large Button Telephone

Royal National Institute for the Blind – Liquid Level Indicator Liquid Level Indicator

Talking Tin Lids Information on living with low vision

Bump ons Tactile and coloured assistance for identification/labelling purposes.

OwnFone Mini, light weight, low cost mobile phone.

Improve the Lighting in Your Home Booklet: RNIB 7, Thomas Pocklington

A Practical Guide to Lighting A Practical Guide to Lighting

Optima Online shop

VIP Diaries Diaries in various colours and sizes for people with visual impairment