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.

(See the end of this page for subscribing via email, RSS, browsing articles by subject, blog archive, APH resources, writing for Fred's Head, and disclaimers.)



Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Accessible ThermostatsPart One

My goal for this post seemed simple enough--to identify and discuss options for accessible thermostats which blind people could control. Finding talking thermostat options was easy enough, however, I also knew that options existed which permitted smartphone users to control thermostats using the aforementioned smartphone. Thermostats which fall into this second category are much more numerous so we will discuss those options in the second installment of our series. For now let's look at talking thermostat options.

At one time, blind people had two talking thermostat options; one was the Kelvin Talking Thermostat. While several references to it still exist online, the reviews and commentary that one will locate dates back to 2007-09 with perhaps a sparse reference to 2012-13. Most sites show the Kelvin as no longer available while one review from 2009 says that it is a clearance item. This site states that it is available, but I was unable to locate an accessible way to add it to the site’s shopping cart.

Thus if one prefers a talking thermostat, the best place to look is the VIP Talking Thermostat site which offers 2 models, the VIP 1007 and the VIP 3000. The 1007 can control single stage 24 Vac gas, oil and electric furnaces and single stage air conditioning systems. It replaces most 2, 3, 4 and 5 wire alalog and digital thermostats; it does not work with heat pumps.

The 3000 (images included) is a “universal multi-stage talking thermostat that can control most 24 Vac AC and heating systems including the newest multi-stage (up to 3 stages of heat and 2 stages of cooling) gas, oil and electric furnaces, air conditioners and heat pump/dual fuel systems with 1 or 2 stage compressors and auxiliary heat. The 3000 also has other enhancements not found in the 1007 as the 3000 uses newer technology. When the Report button is pressed on the VIP 3000, the user hears the room temperature, the temperature setting and the mode, heat, cool or off. The mode was not announced on the VIP 1007. The Up – Down arrow buttons not only announce the temperature setting, they also announce the mode. Again, Heat or Cool.  The VIP 1007 did not announce the mode. The biggest enhancements, though, are in the System Settings.  The VIP 3000 uses push buttons that talk. When the user pushes the Fan Button, the VIP 3000 announces “Fan On”.  Push again and the thermostat announces “Fan Auto”.  The VIP 1007 uses an Up – Down mechanical vertical switch that does not talk.  Up is “Fan On”, down is “Fan Auto”. When the user pushes the System Button to change modes, the VIP 3000 announces “Off”, push again, it announces “Cool”, push again, it announces “Heat”.  If the VIP 3000 is programmed for Heat Pump operation, it will announce “Auxiliary”.  Lastly, if the VIP 3000 is programmed for “Automatic Changeover, it will announce “Auto”.  Again, the VIP 1007 uses a mechanical vertical switch that does not talk.  The VIP 1007 does not have the “Auxiliary Heat” or “Automatic Changeover option”. The 3000 is demonstrated well in this VIP 3000 YouTube Video.
Information on thermostats one can control using a smartphone will follow soon.

1 comment:

shirts sunfrog said...

how to the blind people can know this device work? this is sound?
bup be tinh duc

Subscribe to receive posts via email

* indicates required

Browse Articles by Subject

Follow us on Twitter


Write for us

Your input and support in the evolution of Fred's Head are invaluable! Contact us about contributing original writing or for suggestions for updating existing articles. Email us at


The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the Fred's Head articles; however, APH makes no warranty, guarantee, or promise, expressed or implied, concerning the content or accuracy of the information provided in Fred's Head. APH does not endorse any technique, product, device, service, organization, or other information presented in Fred's Head, other than products and services directly offered by APH.

The products produced by the American Printing House for the Blind are instructional/teaching materials and are intended to be used by trained professionals, parents, and other adults with children who are blind and visually impaired. These materials are not intended as toys for use by children in unstructured play or in an unsupervised environment.

The information and techniques contained in Fred's Head are provided without legal consideration (free-of-charge) and are not warranted by APH to be safe or effective. All users of this service assume the risk of any injury or damage that may result from the use of the information provided.

Information in Fred's Head is not intended as a substitute for professional advice or treatment. Consult your physician before utilizing information regarding your health that may be presented on this site. Consult other professionals as appropriate for legal, financial, and related advice.

Fred's Head articles may contain links to other websites. APH is not responsible for the content of these sites.

Fred's Head articles created by APH staff are (C) copyright American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. You must request permission from APH to reprint these articles. Email to request permission.

Any submissions to Fred's Head should be free of copyright restrictions and should be the intellectual property of the submitter. By submitting information to Fred's Head, you are granting APH permission to publish this information.

Fair Use Notice: This website may contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright holder(s). This site is operated on the assumption that using this information constitutes 'fair use' of said copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law.

Opinions appearing in Fred's Head records are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Printing House for the Blind.