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Low Vision Aids

Today there are many devices to enable people with low vision to read and communicate with ease. Some of the more common ones are:

  • Magnifiers - these enlarge items for easier reading. The basic styles are:
    • desktop - Large units that sit on a table or desk and use a video camera to produce an image on a screen. They can be used for books, magazines, letters, etc. and usually come with a variety of options including a color screen for viewing colored material.
    • portable - Smaller desktop models that fit in a carrying case for moving to different locations. Options might include connections to a desktop model and/or TV for a larger viewing screen.
    • hand-held - Small magnifying lens that can fit into a purse or small bag, often with a light.
    • computer software - Software on a computer that "reads" documents, web pages, and e-mail to the user. Options can include echoing the typing the user does on the computer.
  • Note takers - These devices are like PDA's, usually having a Braille keyboard for entering data with the output being spoken and/or in punched in Braille. Some models have digital maps and GPS abilities to help a solo traveler.
  • Scanning readers - Using optical character

    recognition, these devices scan printed text and convert it to speech.
  • Other vision aids include large print material, audio books, currency identification devices, color identification devices and Braille aids.
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