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Reading Aids

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Introduction

Reading is an essential part of the majority of peoples every day lives, for personal independence, Education, as a hobby, and as part of your job. It provides many benefits but most of us take our reading and writing abilities for granted until the onset of a Visual Impairment. When losing your vision, one of your greatest concerns may be the possibility that you can no longer read but fortunately, there is an ever-expanding list of available techniques and devices to help you read everything from prescription bottles to your mail or the latest bestseller. Many persons of all ages have some type of Visual Impairment which can be resolved with the aid of Glasses, such as Reading Glasses, but there are also a variety of other types of Reading Aids that can assist you if you have a more severe visual impairment, including Large Print Books, Magnifiers and Computer Magnifiers, Computer  Software, Braille and Braille Books, Audio Books and Audio Book Players which can be used by Persons with or without disabilities who just wish to enjoy listening to the content of a book.

Persons with Visual Impairments or those who are Blind who wish to remain independent, will need to find a way to read comfortably by finding a Reading Aid that will suite them and their visual impairment., thankfully Reading Aids are available throughout South Africa and are sold by Organizations and Companies such as Edit Microsystems, who offer a wide variety of solutions and can also advise you on what equipment would best suit your needs. Please read the article below to find out more about these Reading Aids and the companies that provide them.

Edit Microsystems: Edit Microsystems (Pty) Ltd is an award-winning company that is devoted to finding alternative and state-of-the-art technical solutions to improve curriculum delivery in educational institutions and effective communication inEdit Microsystems business with a focus on high-speed functional connectivity and on-going support. They have a proud tradition of innovation and are on the cutting edge of technological advances in education. Many of their products are designed to enhance interactivity in a classroom or lecture theatre. Edit Microsystems are also a leader in finding and providing specially adapted hardware and software for Learners with Special Educational Needs throughout South Africa.

Edit Microsystems can be contacted on: 086 111 3973 and have their Head Office in Cape Town at: 13 Boy De Goede Circle, Table View, 7441. They also have an online shop and branches in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Gauteng.
To contact these other branches or find out more about Edit Microsystems and the products they supply, visit their web site at: www.editmicro.co.za
 or email them at: info@editmicro.co.za.

Reading

A child with moderate visual impairment (a corrected visual acuity between 20/70 and 20/160) works well with visual aids, perhaps even to the point of eliminating the impairment’s effect. A student with severe visual impairment (a corrected visual acuity of 20/200 to 20/400) will have difficulty even with visual aids, but can use vision to some degree in the learning process. Students with profound visual impairment or total vision impairment (corrected visual acuity of 20/500 or worse) cannot use vision as an educational tool and must rely predominately on their remaining sensory functions. Just as visual impairments fall along a continuum, so do students’ abilities to see and use learning materials. Someone with low vision or moderate visual impairment can read with magnification aids, which might range from a simple magnifying glass to a computer technology like ZoomText Xtra (Ai Squared), which provides magnification and screen-reading capabilities. Students with profound visual impairment might use Window-Eyes (GW Micro) or JAWS (Henter-Joyce), two screen readers that use a voice synthesizer to read the contents of the computer screen aloud via the computer’s speakers.

Classroom teachers can make many other modifications for the visually impaired student, too. Books on tape can replace textbooks. Tape recorders can capture lectures or assist in composition. Computers can help compose papers, while voice synthesizers can read each page back to the student. Partners assigned within the classroom can provide specific assistance such as help with gathering materials and organizing for work.

Aids for the Blind

Reading Aids that can help the Blind enjoy books and reading, include Audio Books, braille & Screen Readers to name a few. Braille appears in books, which are printed in Braille and is also used on a variety of other objects, such as: signs, money and watches. Braille can also be found on computer keyboards, screens and other electronic devices, thanks to refreshable Braille displays. Reading Aids such as glasses and other devices that magnify the words & images, are only beneficial to the Visually Impaired, who can see to some degree. They will not benefit the totally Blind.

Below is some information on Reading aids that are available in South Africa as well as the companies that supply them. To view more information about these Assistive Devices and others, read the article below.

Audio Books & Playersaudiobooks

Audio Books & Players are Assistive Devices that enable a Blind or badly Visually Impaired person to be able to enjoy books. They are also useful for the mobility impaired, elderly and people with various other disabilities. An audiobook (or talking book) is a recording of a text being read.

Spoken audio is available in schools and public libraries and to a lesser extent in music shops. Many spoken word albums were made prior to the age of videocassettes, DVDs, compact discs, and downloadable audio, however these were often of poetry and plays rather than books.

Audiobooks are distributed on any audio format available, but primarily these are CDs, records, cassette tapes, or in downloadable digital formats, such as MP3 (.mp3), Windows Media Audio (.wma), Advanced Audio Coding (.aac)), and solid state preloaded digital devices in which the audio content is preloaded and sold together with a hardware device.

Use & Listening practices

Audiobooks can also be used as an educational tool and have been used to teach children to read and to increase reading comprehension. They are also useful for the intellectually Impaired, including those with learning disabilities such as Dislexia.

About 40 percent of all audiobook consumption occurs through public libraries, with the remainder served primarily through retailbook stores. Library download programs are currently experiencing rapid growth (more than 5,000 public libraries offer free downloadable audio books). Libraries are also popular places to check out audio books in the CD format.

Audiobooks are considered a valuable learning tool because of their format.

Audio Books are Assistive Devices that enable a Blind or badly Visually Impaired person to be able to enjoy books. They are also useful for the mobility impaired, elderly and people with various other disabilities. An audiobook (or talking book) is a recording of a text being read.

Spoken audio is available in schools and public libraries and to a lesser extent in music shops. Many spoken word albums were made prior to the age of videocassettes, DVDs, compact discs, and downloadable audio, however these were often of poetry and plays rather than books.

Audiobooks are distributed on any audio format available, but primarily these are CDs, records, cassette tapes, or in downloadable digital formats, such as MP3 (.mp3), Windows Media Audio (.wma), Advanced Audio Coding (.aac), and solid state preloaded digital devices in which the audio content is preloaded and sold together with a hardware device.

Employers, Teachers and Lecturers should make Reading Aids available to persons with Visual Impairments, so that they will not be disadvantaged in School or at their job. Below is some information on Reading aids that are available in South Africa as well as the companies that supply them. To view more information about these Assistive Devices and others, read the article below

Audiobooks are also considered a valuable learning tool because of their format. Unlike traditional books or a video program, one can learn from an audiobook while doing other tasks. Such tasks include doing the laundry and exercising indoors, among others. The most popular general use of audiobooks by adults is when driving an automobile or traveling with public transport, as an alternative to radio. Many people listen as well just to relax or as they drift off into sleep.

A recent survey released by the Audio Publishers Association found that the overwhelming majority of audiobook users listen in the car, and more than two-thirds of audiobook buyers described audiobooks as relaxing and a good way to multitask. Another stated reason for choosing audiobooks over other formats is that an audio performance makes some books more interesting.

Common practices include:

  • Replaying: Depending upon one's degree of attention and interest, it is often necessary to listen to segments of an audio book more than once to allow the material to be understood and retained satisfactorily. Replaying may be done immediately or after extended periods of time.
  • Learning: People may listen to an audio book (usually an unabridged one) while following along in an actual book. This helps them to learn words that they may not learn correctly if they were only to read the book. This can also be a very effective way to learn a new language.
  • Multitasking: Many audiobook listeners choose the format because it allows multitasking during otherwise mundane or routine tasks such as exercising, crafting, or cooking.
    Entertainment: Audiobooks have become a popular form of travel entertainment for families or commuters.

Where Can I Get Audio Books?

About 40 percent of all audiobook consumption occurs through public libraries, with the remainder served primarily through retail book stores. Library download programs are currently experiencing rapid growth (more than 5,000 public libraries offer free downloadable audio books). Libraries are also popular places to check out audio books in the CD format.

There are also a wide variety of Charitable and nonprofit organizations that make audio books available online, so that they can be downloaded. Some of these organizations also lend out these audio books and will post them to you.

With the rise of the Internet, broadband technologies, & new compressed audio formats, it is now easier than ever to obtain audio books by downloading them from anywhere in the world.

Well known Charitable and nonprofit organizations include:

  • Learning Alley was founded in 1948 & serves more than 300,000 K-12, college and graduate students, veterans and lifelong learners – all of whom cannot read standard print due to blindness, visual impairment, dyslexia, or other learning disabilities. Learning Ally’s collection of more than 80,000 human-narrated textbooks and literature titles can be downloaded on mainstream smartphones and tablets, and is the largest of its kind in the world.
  • Bookshare was Founded in 2002 & is an online library of computer-read audiobooks in accessible formats for people with print disabilities.
  • Libri Vox was founded in 2005 & is also an online library of downloadable audiobooks and a free non for profit organisation developed by Hugh McGuire. It has audiobooks in several languages. Most of their languages are typically Western European languages.
  • Calibre Audio Library is a UK charity providing a subscription-free service of unabridged audiobooks for people with sight problems, dyslexia or other disabilities, who cannot read print. They have a library of over 8,550 fiction and non-fiction titles which can be borrowed by post on MP3 CDs and memory sticks or via streaming.
  • Listening Books is an audiobook charity in the UK providing an internet streaming and postal service to anyone who has a disability or illness which makes it difficult to hold a book, turn its pages, or read in the usual way. They have audiobooks for both leisure and learning and a library of over 4,000 titles which are recorded in their own digital studios or commercially sourced.

Audio Book Players

Listening to Music & enjoying Television, Movies & Sport are all Hobbies that can still be enjoyed alone or in a group by persons who are Blind or have Visual Impairments. These activities offer a great way to escape from your troubles for a couple of hours & can be both entertaining & inspirational. Thanks to a number of Assistive Devices supplied by Companies such as EditVictor Reader Stratus4 Daisy MP3 player Microsystems these activities can be made easier to enjoy. Below are a number of these Music Aids that are available:

Victor Reader Stratus4 Daisy MP3 player: This Victor reader is a MP3 Player, which is ideal for playing both music and audio books. It is easy to use and has a user friendly simple interface with 4 navigation keys enabling direction to desired chapters, pages, sections, paragraphs or tracks. The DAISY, MP3 audio books and music CD’s can be to be played through the reader stratus 4, it also bookmarks important locations in each type of book, music file or text document. The built-text to speech (TTS) feature allows the user to make a copy of text documents and then replay it through the built-in speaker or headphone output. It also comes with optional features which makes easy accessibility to most important buttons with the optional keyboard cover. Those who prefer an even simpler operation, use the optional keyboard cover that makes only the most important buttons accessible, and thus simulates a conventional cassette recorder. You can contact Edit Microsytems to find out more about this product and the other features it has or to receive a quote.

Victor Reader Stream CD Accessory: This  Victor Reader Stream CD Accessory is a device that plays CD’s onto a portable audio playback device. It is an easy way to transfer a collection of CD’s onto  a single portable audio device without using a PC.
The device is ideal for users who do not use a PC. The device is a perfect solution to transition from using VR Wave to VR Stream.
The CDCD player accessory especially designed to be used with the VR Stream. This product includes a power adapter and a D-Shaped USB cable. You can contact Edit Microsytems to find out more about this product or to receive a quote.

There are also various other types of these products which are available from companies such as Edit Microsystems, contact them to see what other types of these products they can supply.

Braille & Braille Books

Braille is a tactile writing system used by people who are blind or visually impaired. It is traditionally found in books and is written with embossed paper. Braille characters are small rectangular blocks called cells that contain tiny palpable bumps called raised dots. The number and arrangement of these dots distinguish one character from another. Braille varies from language to language.

These days Braille appears & is used on a variety of objects, so that the Blind can read:

  • Books that are written in Braille
  • Braille computers and electronic devices: Some Braille computers and electronic devices support Braille thanks to refreshable Braille displays. Visit our Computer & Electronic Aids - Refreshable Braille Display to find out more.
  • Braille Watches and Clocks - visit our Talking & Braille Watches, Alarm Clocks to find out more.
  • Money: Many countries including South Africa have Braille markings on their bank notes. Visit our Money Section under Accessible Features.
  • Signs and Signage: Signs that appear in public places like shopping centers, which helps the Blind to move about. Visit our Building Regulations - Signage under the Accessible Features page.

Braille usage and the use of Braille Books has declined in the face of the increase in the number of web sites that provide Audio books & other books  that can be read on a computer with the help of screen-reader software.

Other causes for the decline in Braille usage, including:

  • school budget constraints
  • technology advancement
  • different philosophical views over how blind children should be educated.

Braille education, however remains important for developing reading skills among blind and visually impaired children. Braille literacy also correlates with higher employment rates.

Other advances have helped to increase the use of Braille over the years, including:

  • The introduction of Thermoform Duplicator, which copies braille from paper to a Brailon (a sheet of durable plastic).
  • Computer-driven, high-speed braille printers
  • The improvement in the prices, availability & selection of Braille Books over the internet & through Blind organizations.

What Is Braille

Braille is a medium of reading and writing for people who are blind and is not a language. It was originally designed by Louis Braille, a Frenchman, who was born in 1809. Till to date all blind readers are using Braille. The Braille cell consist of 6 dots, numbered in the following way.

Three dots on the left, top Number 1, middle number 2 and bottom number 3. On the write also three dots, top number 4, middle number 5 and bottom number 6. From this six dots one can make 63 different combinations, of which the alphabet is 26. Because Braille do not make any distinction between capital and small letters, one of the dots is used to show when a following letter is a capital letter.

Braille become very bulky, and therefore a type of shorthand system was designed, which we as Braille users call contractions. Braille is also divided into different grades. Grade one will be letter by letter whereas grade 2 will be contracted Braille.

In South Africa contracted systems were designed for all our languages.  For example, the letter B will represent the following word in different languages. Afrikaans and English but, Sotho languages Bona, Tsonga Byona and Venda.

In previous years you had different systems for literary Braille, maths and science and computer text, but most of the world decided to make a unified code. This result in a person who can read Braille to have access to a book from any country than his own.

The unified code also make provision for signs which were not catered for previously.

Because Braille is a medium of writing, a print book which has been translated into braille, should be as close as possible to the original print copy. There are also ways in which graphs etc. can be produced in a Braille format.

Unfortunately, the conversion of print books to Braille take some time and is costly. Therefore, Braille users are very fortunate when they have a Braille book in their hands. Braille also help blind people to be able to spell correctly when they need to write letters.  May Braille be with us till the end of time.

Braille is a tactile writing system used by people who are blind or visually impaired. It is traditionally found in books and is written with embossed paper. Braille characters are small rectangular blocks called cells that contain tiny palpable bumps called raised dots. The number and arrangement of these dots distinguish one character from another. Braille varies from language to language.

These days Braille appears & is used on a variety of objects, so that the Blind can read:

  • Books that are written in Braille
  • Computer & Electronic Aids that supports Braille thanks to refreshable Braille displays. See Computer & Electronic Aids.
  • Braille watches
  • Money, many countries including South Africa have Braille on their bank notes. See Money under Accessible Features.
  • Signs that appear in public places like shopping centers, which helps the Blind to move about. See Building Regulations under Accessible Features.

Braille usage and the use of Braille Books has declined in the face of the increase in the number of web sites that provide Audio books & other books  that can be read on a computer with the help of screen-reader software.

Other causes for the decline in Braille usage, including:

  • school budget constraints
  • technology advancement
  • different philosophical views over how blind children should be educated.

Braille education, however remains important for developing reading skills among blind and visually impaired children. Braille literacy also correlates with higher employment rates.

Other advances have helped to increase the use of Braille over the years, including:

  • The introduction of Thermoform Duplicator, which copies braille from paper to a Brailon (a sheet of durable plastic).
  • Computer-driven, high-speed braille printers
  • The improvement in the prices, availability & selection of Braille Books over the internet & through Blind organizations.

More about Braille

Braille is indirectly derived from the Latin alphabet. In Braille's original system, the dot patterns were assigned to letters according to their position within the alphabetic order of the French alphabet, with accented letters and w sorted at the end.

Braille was the first writing system with binary encoding. The system as devised by Braille consists of two parts:

  1. Character encoding that mapped characters of the French alphabet to tuples of six bits  (the dots),
  2. The physical representation of those six-bit characters with raised dots in a braille cell.

Within an individual cell, the dot positions are arranged as two columns of three positions. A raised dot can appear in any of the six positions, producing sixty-four (26) possible patterns, including one in which there are no raised dots.

Braille cells are not the only thing to appear in braille text. There may be embossed illustrations and graphs, with the lines either solid or made of series of dots, arrows, bullets that are larger than Braille dots, etc.

Several braille alphabets are used in South Africa. For English, Unified English Braille has been adopted. Nine other languages have been written in braille: Afrikaans, Ndebele, Sotho, Northern Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu. All print alphabets are restricted to the basic Latin alphabet, with diacritics in some cases; the braille alphabets are likewise basic braille with additional letters to render the diacritics.

In English Braille there are three levels of encoding:

Grade 1 - a letter-by-letter transcription used for basic literacy
Grade 2 - an addition of abbreviations and contractions
Grade 3 - various non-standardized personal shorthands.

Braille cells are not the only thing to appear in braille text. There may be embossed illustrations and graphs, with the lines either solid or made of series of dots, arrows, bullets that are larger than Braille dots, etc.

Braille Reading techniques

Since braille is one of the few writing systems where tactile perception is used, as opposed to visual perception, a braille reader must develop new skills.

There are many different styles and techniques used for the understanding and reading of braille, including:

  • the ability to create smooth and even pressures when running one's fingers along the words.
  • using the index fingers of both hands.
  • finish reading the end of a line with the right hand and to find the beginning of the next line with the left hand simultaneously.

Writing Braille

When people produce braille, this is called braille transcription. When computer software produces braille, this is called braille translation. ( See Braille Translation in Computer & Electronic Aids.) Braille may be produced by hand using a slate and stylus in which each dot is created from the back of the page, writing in mirror image, or it may be:

  • produced on a braille typewriter
  • typed on a braille writer, such as a portable braille note-taker
  • on a computer that prints with a braille embosser.
  • typed using a Perkins Brailler, or an electronic Brailler or eBrailler.

Most braille embossers support between 34 and 40 cells per line, and 25 lines per page.

A manually operated Perkins braille typewriter supports a maximum of 42 cells per line (its margins are adjustable), and typical paper allows 25 lines per page.

Because braille letters cannot be effectively erased and written over if an error is made, an error is overwritten with all six dots (⠿).

Using a computer or other electronic device, braille may be produced with a braille embosser (printer) or a refreshable braille display.

Braille characters are much larger than their printed equivalents, and the standard 11" by 11.5" (28 cm × 30 cm) page has room for only 25 lines of 43 characters. To reduce space and increase reading speed, most braille alphabets and orthographies use ligatures, abbreviations, and contractions. Virtually all English Braille books are transcribed in this contracted braille, which adds an additional layer of complexity to English orthography.

Braille usage and the use of Braille Books has declined In the face of the increase in the number of web sites that provide Audio books & other books  that can be read on a computer with online screen-reader software. Other causes for the decline in Braille usage, including:

  • school budget constraints
  • technology advancement
  • different philosophical views over how blind children should be educated.

However, Braille education remains important for developing reading skills among blind and visually impaired children. Braille literacy correlates with higher employment rates.

Other advances have helped to increase the use of Braille over the years, including:

  • The introduction of Thermoform Duplicator, which copies braille from paper to a Brailon (a sheet of durable plastic).
  • Computer-driven, high-speed braille printers
  • The improvement in the prices, availability & selection of Braille Books over the internet & through Blind organizations.

There are also a variety of other products that available or innovations that have recently been developed, that might further effect the use and sale of Braille Books, but could make reading and books more enjoyable and easier to read. They include:

A refreshable braille display or braille terminal is an electro-mechanical device for displaying braille characters, usually by means of round-tipped pins raised through holes in a flat surface. Blind computer users who cannot use a computer monitor can use it to read text output. Speech synthesizers are also commonly used for the same task, and a blind user may switch between the two systems or use both at the same time depending on circumstances. Deafblind computer users may also use refreshable braille displays.

Electronic Devices & Computers

Computers & other Electronic equipment, such as Tablets, E-Readers, cell phones, etc are extremely useful Assistive Devices, especially if you are Blind or have a Visual Impairment. They are important tools of integration and can be used for a number of purposes including: Work, Research, Entertainment and Socializing, to mention just a few.

These devices can be made easier to use, thanks to the availability of a wide range of Electronic Reading Aids, which can enable the Blind to use Electronic equipment, or assist the Visual Impaired to use Electronic equipment. These devices, not only help the Blind, or Visually Impaired to read the information on the device, but also input information, thus making a Computers & other Electronic equipment, extremely powerful tools for the Blind, or Visually Impaired. The availability of assistive technology is increasing and concerted efforts are being to ensure the accessibility of information to the blind.

Computer & Electronic Reading Aids include devices such as:

  • screen readers
  • screen magnifiers
  • refreshable Braille displays
  • Braille Keyboards
  • Later versions of Microsoft Windows include an Accessibility Wizard & Magnifier for those with partial vision, and Microsoft Narrator, a simple screen reader.
  • Linux distributions (as live CDs) for the blind include Oralux and Adriane Knoppix, the latter developed in part by Adriane Knopper who has a visual impairment.
  • Mac OS also comes with a built-in screen reader, called VoiceOver.
  • The movement towards greater web accessibility is opening a far wider number of websites to adaptive technology, making the web a more inviting place for visually impaired surfers.
  • Modified visual output that includes large print and/or clear simple graphics can be of benefit to users with some residual vision.

Computer & Electronic Reading Aids are covered in more depth in this section: Click on Computer & Electronic Reading Aids to find out more.

Read More: ....

Reading Aids for the Visually Impaired

There are many low vision devices can that can make reading easier and more rewarding for people with macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, tunnel vision and other low vision conditions. Some reading devices require a prescription from your eye care practitioner because they are custom-made for your particular needs. But consult your doctor before buying even nonprescription magnifiers, because he or she can tell you which low vision devices will work best for you, based on your activities and the lens power you require.

There are devices that magnify the words & images, so that the Visually Impaired can see them more clearly. Below are a variety of these Reading aids for both the Visually Impaired & Blind.

Hand-held Magnifiers

The most affordable are hand-held magnifiers, some of which contain small reading lamps for better illumination. Other magnifiers are mounted on height-adjustable stands or hang around the neck.

Reading Glasses

Strong reading glasses come in full- or half-lens styles, or you can obtain bifocals with high-power reading lens segments.

Reading Telescopes

Reading telescopes are another option. They can be hand-held or mounted onto special eyeglass frames with enhanced nose pads and padded bridges, so your nose will carry the weight more comfortably.

Reading and Writing Software

There is also a wide variety of other types of Software which is available to purchase from Companies such as Edit Microsystems, who can supply you with a wide range of pre-loaded software, including Microsoft Windows and Office, as well as various other programs that can assist persons with Mobility Impairments to operate a computer and type easily, such as:

Text Help Read & Write

Image supplied by Edit Microsystems

TextHelp Read&Write Gold Literacy Software: The TextHelp Read&Write Gold literacy Software (pictured right) for Dyslexia and Reading Difficulty is used by students and professionals around to world to assist them to overcome barriers to reading and writing. The toolbar supports individuals who struggle with literacy difficulties (including, but not limited to dyslexia).  The toolbar can also be useful to students with English as a second language, or even just for proof reading and productivity. TextHELP Read&Write Gold is a discrete, easily customisable toolbar that that integrates reading, writing, studying, and research support tools with common applications such as Microsoft Word and internet browsers.

Read&Write Gold is suitable for your PC, Mac or iPad and is even available as a moblile flash stick application to be used on public use computers. Benefits of TextHELP Read&Write Gold include: Assists with reading fluency and comprehension; The software facilitates research, writing, studying, and test taking; The toolbar integrates with commonly used mainstream applications such as Microsoft Office; Encourages independence and inclusion in an inclusive education environment.
The Product Features include: Spell Checker; Word Prediction; Dictionary; Picture Dictionary; Word Wizard; Sounds like and Confusable words; Verb Checker; Calculator; Screenshot Reader; Speech Maker; Daisy Reader; Pronunciation Tutor; Scan: OCR/Scan a paper document to PDF, Word, HTML or ePub format; Fact Finder; Fact Folder; Fact Mapper; Screen Masking; Speech Input; Translator: You must be online to use this feature; PDF Aloud; Study Skills; Word Cloud and Voice Note.

The scanning and PDF aloud features of Read&Write Gold have made it highly popular as an exam reader. Students no longer need to have the question paper read aloud to them by a scribe or assistant, but can rather independently listen to the questions and have them repeated as necessary without having to ask for assistance. This feature has given dyslexic students around the world confidence and independence. Contact Edit Microsytems to find out more about this Software and to receive a quote.

Clicker 8 software

Image supplied by Edit Microsystems

Clicker 8 Literacy Software: Clicker 8 is the complete writing solution for the primary and SEN classroom, providing every pupil with just the right level of support and challenge. In addition to enhancing the core Clicker features that teachers know and love, Crick Software have added Clicker Cloze, Clicker Analytics, Picturize, and so much more! Clicker 8 combines exciting new feature ideas from Clicker fans with the inclusive literacy support tools already known and loved. What’s new in Clicker 8?
Clicker 8 builds on the worldwide success of its award-winning predecessors. It’s inclusive, it’s engaging, it’s intuitive, and it enables teachers to give every learner the personalised, evidence-led support they need to take their literacy skills to the next level.
Cloze activities are many a teacher’s go-to resource for comprehension exercises. They’re also fantastic for developing core reading and language skills. With Clicker Cloze, you can create a cloze activity using any text in just a few seconds. Complete within Clicker or print out for use away from the computer. Contact Edit Microsytems to find out more about this Software and to receive a quote.

Edit Microsystems can also supply software such as Clicker 6 program for Primary schools and Yenka for high schools. Please feel free to Contact Us for more information.

Video Magnifiers

Video magnifiers project printed material on a closed circuit television (CCTV) monitor or regular television or computer screen; you can sit as close to the screen as necessary and adjust the magnification, brightness, contrast and color of the display to your liking.

Advantages of this system are that it doesn't add weight to your nose (as in the case of eyeglass-mounted scopes), and you can sit upright in a comfortable position, instead of leaning over a table.

The disadvantage is that it costs more than a simple magnifier or pair of reading glasses. But considering the quality of life benefits that video magnifiers offer a person with low vision, the cost is probably worth it for most people. An example of this is The Freedom Machine by Vision Technology has a high-definition flat panel monitor with fast auto-focus, high resolution and no glare. The monitor adjusts for height and tilt.

A more portable system is a device that rests on your reading material and magnifies it, projecting the image onto a pair of eyeglasses that you wear. You read the material on the glasses as you move the device across the page. You can also read curved surfaces, such as cans or pill bottles, so this device is useful for shopping.

Good Lighting Is Essential

Natural sunlight is the best lighting for reading. Sit near a window for daytime reading. For artificial lighting, purchase "full-spectrum" light bulbs. These bulbs emit light that more closely mimics natural sunlight than regular incandescent bulbs.

Avoid harsh fluorescent lighting, which can cause glare, especially for anyone with low vision. Replace fluorescent desk lamps or kitchen lighting with halogen task lighting or full-spectrum bulbs for better comfort and visibility.

Non-Optical, "Adaptive" Low Vision Aids

People who suddenly find themselves with low vision often are surprised at how essential good eyesight, is not only for reading, but just to get through everyday life.

For the visually impaired, something as simple as checking the time on their watch or being able to see the difference between a ten rand note and a Twenty rand note can become a difficult chore.

In addition to low vision devices and good lighting, inexpensive non-optical adaptive aids can assist with routine daily activities. These devices include:

  • Large-print cookbooks
  • Large-numbered playing cards, clocks, telephones and watches
  • Electronic "talking" clocks, kitchen timers, thermometers, blood pressure meters and even pill bottles
  • Large felt-tip pens and wide-lined paper for writing notes
  • Wallets that separate different bill denominations into different pockets
  • Color-coded pill boxes
  • Voice-recording electronic organizers
  • Signature guides

Many of these items can be found at your local pharmacy, discount store or bookstore.

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N.B: This Website is continually changing and being improved some sections may therefor be incomplete or have links and contact details that are outdated. We are making every effort to keep this to a minimum, so we ask for your patients in this regard and to please Contact Us if you notice that your Companies, Clubs, Schools or Organizations details are incorrect or have changed.

Thank you for visiting our website, we hope that it will be helpful, please feel free to visit our Facebook Page to leave a comment.

References

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