Activity 12 – Reading

Alternate senses contributing to this activity are: touch & hearing.

Assistive procedures helpful for maintaining this activity are:

  • Using Braille.
  • Using high technology devices or software.
  • Utilizing a public service.
  • Using low vision materials and non-optical devices or equipment.

We will begin with:

Using Braille

If you use a computer, you can attach a refreshable Braille display or Braille terminal displays characters by raising dots through holes in a flat surface. This will allow you to read text output in lieu of a monitor.

A Braille personal digital assistant serves the same purposes as a regular PDA, but it features a Braille display and keyboard. Several models are available.


Using high technology devices or software

Basic text-to-speech software is built into most computer systems that will read your screen to you. More advanced software can be purchased from low vision dealers.

Other software is available that can use a scanner and computer to read printed hard copy material to you.

Stand-alone text-to-speech systems are also available, which do not require a computer to operate. Called “electronic readers”, these can quickly scan printed material and read it back to you, all in one operation. They come in desktop and portable models.


Utilizing a public service

Books on tape are supplied by your State Library for the Blind and Visually Handicapped or by the Talking Books program of the Library of Congress. The service, equipment, and tapes are provided free for those who qualify.

For faster access to audio books, download electronic books from commercial distributors on the Internet, or purchase them off the shelf from nearly any bookstore.


Using low vision materials and non-optical devices or equipment

Non-optical devices available for reading are:

  • Talking books on analog or digital tape.
  • Digital players.
  • Talking or Braille watches and clocks.
  • Talking or Braille dictionaries.
  • Talking currency identifiers.
  • Talking calculators.
  • Braille slates and styluses.

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