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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
All Knowledge, etc.

My mother-in-law has poor vision. She'd really benefit from an mp3 player that she could actually use - one with easy to see controls. Sandisks and iRivers (our preferred mp3 players) do not work with that - the controls and the screens are too small. The same for iPods, which would otherwise be ideal since she uses a Mac.

Now I'm wondering if an iTouch or even an iPhone would do the trick - how visible are their controls? How clear are their screens? I'm mentioning an iPhone even though I believe in keeping phones and pdas and mp3 players seperate because she's also looking for a low-vision phone (she really looking for a "dumb" phone - one that makes phone calls and nothing else.) But the screen on the iPhone might make things easier, and she can download music, and newscasts and even religious classes to that, to.

I told her to ask her friends who might have these devices if she can try them out - she knows enough under-thirties that I'm sure she can find one or the other easily enough. She's also only fair with new electonics.

Am I on the right track? Or will this be another frustrating experience for her?


Well it's larger (the iphone/touch screen) but I dunno how blind your MIL is. Also my mom, when using my phone though usually it's when I'm not in a position to explain, often has trouble with the huge change in input dynamics between a regular phone and the iphone, but if your MIL has more experience with that kind of thing then okay.

It's hard to explain, sometimes the words are small, like when it goes sleep and you wake it up just to see the song, but on the other hand at the same time the displays for the controls are fairly large. Can you pop into an ATT or Apple store and ask for a demo?

After cataract surgery, she can read the NY Times again, but it's slow. One eye is almost useless (big grey cloud in the middle due to botched laser treatment on retina), one varies how blurry it gets based on edema in the retina, for which she gets periodic shots.

Two options:

1. Phones- the jitterbug is just that- a phone. Big buttons, makes calls, nothing else. Designed for the senior market.

2. Children's MP3 players. They make them, they are under $100, usually under $50.

One of those with an expansion SD card?

They are nice and big buttoned.

You just have to sell it to the MIL.

I was going to suggest the Jitterbug as a phone, too.

I love my iPhone, BUT as amireal says, there is a big difference between using a regular phone and using the iPhone. (Like, in order to get a keypad to punch a number into, you have to hit the "phone" icon and then the "keypad" icon.)

The icons are big and shiny and candylike, so a iPod Touch might work for her on the mp3 player front (though the kid's player suggestion sounds pretty good to me), but I would steer clear of the iPhone.

I've heard good things about the Jitterbug phone too.

I don't have an iPhone/iTouch. I know the iTouch has an easy zoom function; I assume the iPhone does too. (The iTouch is the first PDA-type device to make it onto my "worth paying attention to someday" list because the screen is big enough that even with larger fonts it's not so cramped as to be useless. It sounds like your MIL's vision problems might be more severe than mine, though, as I can use an iPod.

You can get a cover for the iPhone and install a program that allows people to operate by touch and not by sight. Would that help?

She's not blind - not even legally so. She can read normal book print, although she prefers large-size.