Dear Izzy is an anonymous advice column that offers solutions to everyday challenges for people with vision loss.
I recently moved into a new home with a digital thermostat. It is programmed to automatically lower the temperature each evening and increase the temperature in the morning. Unfortunately, I am unable to make changes to the program because I cannot see the print display. In addition, I would like to be able to identify the current temperature in the room. Can you help me?
The Heat Is On
Dear Heat Is On,
It can be very frustrating to operate a digital thermostat if you are unable to see the print display. One of my favourite gadgets is my Kelvin talking thermostat. You can operate the thermostat in two ways, by push-buttons or by voice. The buttons are marked with raised arrows that are easy to feel. When you push the up-arrow or down-arrow once, the thermostat will identify the current time, the current room temperature, and the current temperature-setting. For example, "11:36 a.m., the temperature is 20, the temperature-setting is 20". You can adjust the temperature-setting by pressing the up or down arrows, as desired.
To operate the thermostat using voice, I simply click my tongue twice (or clap my hands twice) and say the word, "thermostat". This verbal command will activate the voice output. If I want to increase the temperature, I say the word "raise" for each degree that I want to increase the temperature. If I want to lower the temperature, I say the word "lower" for each degree change.
This thermostat is easily programmed with voice output to guide you through the process. You can purchase the Kelvin thermostat on-line. Another option is the VIP series of talking thermostats that are also available on-line. I hope this helps! If you would like to learn additional home management skills, contact your local CNIB office. Keep warm!
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