Adaptive Technology

Desktop Video Magnifiers:
The newest generation of video magnifiers features HD cameras, a wider field-of-view and text-to-speech capability. Desktop video magnifiers provide crisp images, easy operation, and the highest magnification levels (up to 95x for some models), as well as multiple font and background color options to meet each individual's needs. Examples include Enhanced Vision's Merlin Elite and Optelec's ClearView + Speech.

DaVinci HD is Enhanced Vision's newest generation flexible arm video magnifier. In addition to an HD camera, the DaVinci also features text-to-speech capability. DaVinci HD has a camera that can rotate to focus on objects both near and far, thus enabling the user to enjoy a variety of activities, including reading, writing, cooking, arts and crafts projects, and bird watching. It provides students with the ability to see material presented on the white board and to view presentations. ClearView + Speech is Optelec's video magnifier with text-to-speech cabability and uses a touch screen display. 

Handheld Electronic Magnifiers

For portability needs, such as shopping or travel or other tasks requiring handheld magnification, popular options are Ruby HD and HD XL (Freedom Scientific) as well as the Compact 5 HD and Compact 7 HD (Optelec) and Pebble HD and Amigo (Enhanced Vision). The screen size on these portable electronic magnifiers range from 4-7 inches. Their light weight and small size make them useful for a variety of tasks, such as reading mail, medicine bottles, menus, and magazines, viewing pictures, and reading labels and price tags when shopping. They each provide several font color choices, including high contrast black on white, natural color, white text on black background, and more. Some of the portable devices can also be used for writing tasks. These are just a few of the many options available on the market. For individuals who require a mid-size device for travel or school, Enhanced Vision offers the 13" Acrobat Mini, Optelec has the 13" Traveler and APH has the 12" VisioBook

Text-to-Speech & Screen Reader Software
Patients with limited vision or total vision loss are good candidates for optical character recognition devices (OCR), such as the AbiSEE Eye-Pal Ace or the Optelec ClearReader. Additionally, there are several OCR and screen reader apps for iPhone and Android, and for those who use computers, there are programs such as ZoomText, JAWS and the Kurzweil 1000 screen reader.

For those who use tablets or smartphones, there are many new apps to improve accessibility for the visually impaired. Organizations such as the Mass. Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired, Carroll Center for the Blind, Perkins School for the Blind, Easter Seals, and Mass. Commission for the Blind can provide training to help individuals use these apps effectively.