OK I’m writing a blog about visual impairment of all kinds.
I know some of my audience are people who are legally blind or vision impaired so my blog had better be accessible to all!
So from now on, when I put in or link to an image, I will include a figure description. I’m used to doing this when writing for the Open University but stupidly forgot when I began this blog.
In fact for this post only I’ll leave out the image I thought of including and ask everyone to work from the figure description alone.
Many people have low vision. Very roughly speaking, this means they cannot read a newspaper even when wearing appropriate glasses or contact lenses. For people in this category the main assistance is usually some form of magnification.
There are many technologies, some quite traditional, that can help. There are beautiful lenses, and handheld magnifiers, and handheld electronic magnifiers. Cam Sight showed me examples of all these and I’ll write about them in later postings.
Here I’ll just described a single category of device.
This is typically called a CCTV, or Electronic Video Magnifier.
So here’s a definition of what the device does, and then below a description of the image I shan’t include. See if it works for you. Can you picture the device mentally from the figure description? That’s what someone blind always has to do. But if not you can google.
CCTV or video magnifiers for low vision users are essentially a small CCTV camera mounted on a vertical column, a flat bed area probably about A4 size, a light source to illuminate the flatbed area, and a fairly large monitor in front of the user, displaying the image visible to the CCTV camera. Users place open books, newspapers, sewing or any other item of interest on the flatbed, and view a magnified image of the CCTV monitor in front of them.
This is for the image I left out.
Image shows someone using an Electronic Video Magnifier to view a particular page in a directory. The directory is open at the right page on the flatbed area of the magnifier and the user is viewing an enlarged image of a group of entries.