Low Vision Equipment

In addition to the library’s collection of books on tape, CD, and downloadable audio for people with limited vision, the library has a small collection of assistive technology that may help in the conduct of everyday life or with reading tasks, such as looking at medicine bottles or paying bills, or seeing photographs of family and friends.

Borrowing the library’s low vision equipment collection

  • Items are treated like books, and may be borrowed for three weeks, and renewed as books may renewed, provided there are no holds on the items.
  • Items should be returned to the reference desk or outreach coordinator, with a staff member checking in the item. Out of consideration for the expense and fragility of the equipment, items are not to be placed in the library’s drop boxes.
  • For assistance with make a reservation, please consult a library staff person by calling the reference desk at 378-2798.

Useful links for home accessibility

Guide to Room-by-Room Repairs for Easy Accessibility for Disabled Loved Ones

20 Home Modifications for People with Vision Loss

Contrast and Color

Lighting in and around the home: A guide to better lighting for people with sight loss

Creating Accessible Kitchens for the Visually Impaired

Visual Aids

Optivisor magnifiers

This “jeweler’s magnifier” is used on the forehead and over prescription glasses. A range of magnification lenses is available. With greater magnification, focal length is shorter, so reading matter must be closer to the eye. The visor flips up out of the way for normal vision.

Lighted Mobil Schweizer Magnifier

These are LED lighted, hand held magnifying lenses. A 6X and 10X lens are available.

Bugzeye, Dome, No-focus Magnifier

This little low-tech 3X magnifier can slide directly over the surface of what you want to see without you having to focus it.

Mono-mouse Magnifier

This high-tech magnifier plugs into your TV. You mouse over what you want to see, and the image is enlarged on your TV screen via a built in closed circuit TV camera. Requires the dexterity to use a mouse.

Alladin Rainbow Reading Machine

The library’s study room has this magnifier on an x – y stage. A built-in camera enlarges the image onto a monitor that allows you to vary the amount of magnification, change the contrast, and maintain control over which part of the page you are viewing.

Floor Lamp with Magnifying Lens

Good quality light is a big part of reading with low vision. This excellent light source has a large magnifying glass mounted on the floor lamp stand so you have light on what you’re trying to see.

Book Stand

This is a plastic stand to hold the book up for you in a slanted position. You need to use it with a table or lap table for reading, but if holding the book, or holding it steady, is part of your reading difficulty, the book stand might help.

Page turner

For people who have lost manual dexterity, the page turner slips over the palm, and a plastic finger with a rubberized tip helps turn the page.

Audio Players

Victor Classic Reader

This CD player was designed for people with visual impairment. It plays from built in speakers, but you can use it with headphones. You can insert bookmarks, but you don’t need to—the player will automatically resume playing where you shut it off! It is also light weight and comes with a rechargeable 8-hour battery.

Victor Stream

This portable audio player works with headphones and also has soft-spoken built-in speakers. You can download books from the library’s web site, or talking books for the blind, or DAISY books; and you can insert bookmarks and take notes. There is a bit of a learning curve to using this powerful device.

Portable Cassette Player for National Library Service 4-track audio tapes

The National Library Service for the blind has always used proprietary technology to deliver free audio books to the blind. When they went digital in 2009, a library patron donated a light weight, portable and case for the old-style 4 track cassette tapes available from the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library and the National Library Service.

CD and Cassette Player

Play CDs and commercially and privately made cassettes on portable stereos. They come with power cords, and may be used with your own batteries.