Reading Rainbows

Picking out clothes can be a difficult task for a blind or visually impaired person. I used to do a lot of guessing and trying to feel my clothing and shoes to determine what they might be. This resulted in a lot of hilarious clothing matches, different colored socks, and even different colored shoes. I remember showing up for work wearing one black shoe and one brown shoe. I definitely wouldn’t make a good replacement for Mr. Rogers with this kind of shoe drama. Then when it came time for picking out a tie to match a shirt, my arrangements got even more absurd. I even struggled with my gym clothes. For some reason, I kept picking out a red shirt with maroon shorts with black and purple sneakers. I would show up at the gym and be told that I looked quite interesting, sort of like a cross between Barnie and Gumby.

Then my world changed when my mother in law got me a little device for Christmas. Mama Wigs, as we call her, thought that my color matching issues would be a thing of the past with something called the Rainbow Reader. This assistive tech device serves as a color identifier. My favorite part about it is how easy it is to use. I just hold the Rainbow Reader to a piece of clothing and push a button and the device tells me what color it is. It works great, it’s not perfect, but it has helped me to avoid any further embarrassing wardrobe days. This little device has made a big difference in my life.

In Episode 6 of Living The Blind Life, you’ll see and hear the Rainbow Reader in action. My favorite part of the episode was when I held it up to my wife’s hair and it said, “dark gray.” Can you believe that? And all this time I thought she was a blonde! Her hair is actually dark brown so the Rainbow Reader makes some funny mistakes sometimes. Even so, the device has improved the quality of my life. I’m thankful for innovative assistive technology like the Rainbow Reader.     

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