Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Aids To Use In Telling Time: Clocks, Watches And Timers

There are several methods that blind and low vision people may use for telling time. A common method is the use of talking clocks, watches or timers. These products may be purchased in stores that sell products for the blind, or stores that sell novelty electronic gadgetts like Radio Shack.

Talking clocks come in a variety of sizes, shapes and with different voices and alarm sounds. Some are as little as a pack of gum and can be used as key chains. Some are larger and have additional features such as radio, thermometer, CD player, or calendar. Many of these talking products are available in English as well as in other languages like Spanish and French.

For people who prefer to read the time, or for those who don't want to be caught listening to their watch during a boring meeting or a church service, a great option are the braille watches and tactile clocks.

An alternative to a loud alarm clock or time announcement is the vibrating sort of watches, clocks and timers. They are very useful in instances when you need a silent reminder of the time. Such instances may include times when you are giving a presentation and need to be reminded of your time limit. Or when taking a test and need to be reminded that the time is almost over.

Finally, for people with low vision, some of these stores carry a variety of clocks and watches with large numbers and/or time displays.

Analog Clock Model

Analog Clock Model

Helps teach about time-telling concepts. Has braille and raised large print markings and hands that are easily rotated. The hands are synchronized like those of an actual clock (the Model has no motor). Recommended ages: 6 to 10 years.

Analog Clock Model:
Catalog Number: 1-03125-00
Click this link to purchase the Analog Clock Model.

Clock Face Sheets in Braille

Clock Face Sheets in Braille

Each sheet contains four embossed braille clock faces. Hands can be added to these blank clock faces. Embossed on manila transcribing paper measuring 11 1/2 x 11 inches. 3-hole punched. 25 per package. Recommended ages: 6 to 10 years.<

Clock Face Sheets:
Catalog Number: 1-03111-00
Click this link to purchase Clock Face Sheets in Braille.

ZeitGeist; Talking Time Machine


This portable electronic device combines a number of time-related functions and speaks through either its integrated speaker or headphones (not included). Comes with instructions on audiocassette as well as a braille and large print quick-start sheet.


  • Tells time (including dual time zone) in hours, minutes, and seconds
  • Automatically adjusts to Daylight Savings Time and leap years
  • Calendar tells the current day of the week, date, calendar week, number of days passed and remaining in the year, and the current zodiac sign
  • 10 different alarms are possible, each with a separate signal, along with a stopwatch, two count-down timers (seven day and one hour)
  • Manages up to 10 non-recurring or recurring appointments
  • Calculates age in years, months, days, minutes, and seconds or the day of the week for any date
  • 4.5 x 1.25 x 1 inches, fits in pocket or carry around neck on attached lanyard
  • Uses 2 AAA batteries (included)

English Version:
Catalog Number: 1-03974-00

Spanish version:
Catalog Number: 1-03974-SP
Click this link to purchase the Zeitgeist Talking Time Machine.

Talking Watch from APH

Talking Watch with Stretch Band Talking Watch with Leather Band

This inexpensive talking watch is easy to use and to understand. Press the single button and the time is announced in clear speech. Other features:

  • Mode switch and settings are recessed and cannot be accidentally changed
  • Three alarms available: cuckoo, rooster, beeps
  • Can set to announce time on hour
  • Two band styles offered: leather or stretch band

NOTE: talking watches are NOT available with Federal Quota funds

Talking Watch, Stretch Band:
Catalog Number: 1-03976-00
Click this link to purchase the Talking Watch with Stretch Band.

Talking Watch, Leather Band:
Catalog Number: 1-03977-00
Click this link to purchase the Talking Watch with Leather Band.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
Web site:
APH Shopping Home:

Huge Digital Wall Clock

When I say big, I mean HUGE! Now you can have loads of time with these absolutely HUGE Digital Wall Clocks! Available in Red, Blue, Green, and White these clocks will take up a whole wall on their own and are easily visible even in bright light. They are virtually flat and flexible, which means you can just roll them up to transport or store them. They make a great stylish statement, and would be perfect for anyone who needs a BIG clock.

Click this link to purchase the Huge Digital Wall Clock from

The following is a brief list of some of the many stores that carry a variety of aids for telling time:

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