Information is Power!
Say goodbye to not knowing information on food packages! Whether you are looking for directions for a brownie mix, preparing a frozen pizza, or nutrition label details to keep yourself safe from any potential allergens, check out these tools that will enable you to access any printed information via the method of your choosing.
Directions For Me
Directionsforme.org provides quick and easy access to a wealth of accessible directions, nutrition information, ingredients, and sometimes allergy warnings. Just look up your brand and item and the website will have exactly what is written on the box in an accessible format! Use the search function or go to the categories page and you’ll find so much information! Check out the Bridges Resource Library’s DirectionsForMe entry for more information.
Seeing AI is an artificial intelligence application that can identify text, currency, and colors for people who are blind/low vision. This app is available in 16 languages. It has the capacity to do many things, but we have identified two specific modes that are particularly helpful for reading food packages.
Check out the Bridges Resource Library’s Seeing AI entry for more information.
Short Text Mode
This mode is extremely useful because it recognizes text without requiring the user to take a photograph. Simply open the app, make sure the “short text” mode is selected at the bottom of the screen, and point the camera where you think the text appears. As soon as the application detects text, it will begin reading. This means that you can aim the camera all around the food package until it starts reading the information you are looking for.
If you really want to zoom in on some text, you can use Seeing AI in document mode. The app will speak verbal directions to help you get a clear picture. Once your camera is properly aligned, the app will automatically take the picture for you and then present it to you as a readable, accessible document on your phone’s screen.
Aira is a service-based smartphone app where you can call an agent in real-time to assist you with tasks in which visual information might be helpful. The call consists of an audio and visual component, similar to a Zoom or FaceTime call. Users often ask Aira agents to assist them in reading directions and/or nutrition labels on food packages, as well as getting critical information like best-by dates. Check out the Bridges Resource Library’s Aira entry for more information.
Be My Eyes
Be My Eyes is another human visual assistance app, but it is available at no cost. Check out the Bridges Resource Library’s Be My Eyes entry for more information.
Contact the Bridges Helpdesk for More Information
- Our Accessible web form
- Email: Helpdesk@imagemd.org
- Text: Send to: (410) 357-1546
- Voice mail: Call (410) 357-1546, leave a voice mail message, and we will return your call
This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.
Updated as of September 8, 2023.