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This paper will present research results and discussions about two very different types of prosthetic devices for the blind. Both devices, speech compressors and hearing aids, have applicability for much broader populations than simply the blind, but both assume greater importance when the user is visually impaired. Results of testing blinded veterans' comprehension of pitch corrected speeded speech indicate that this form of "reading" has the potential of providing a valuable alternative to Braille, fixed speed talking books, low vision aids, and other techniques when specific types of information are required by the blind individual, Hearing aids, when used by the blind, are forced to convey information about the acoustic environment in addition to simply amplifying speech signals. Various aspects of these additional demands on the instruments are discussed.