Low Vision Tips

1. Problem: When printed type is hard to read, what is needed is blackness and contrast--not bigness. For example, most newspapers are printed with low grade, grayish black ink on the cheapest dirty gray newsprint. As a result, except for traumatic headlines, the low vision reader has a difficult, if not impossible, time reading the paper.

Solution: Reproduce any special articles on a copy machine and enlarge by 129% if possible. The result will now be legible because you are using a bright white paper with dense black ink and enlarged by approximately 25%--a legibility improvement of well over 300%. A good example is the daily newspaper crossword puzzle.

2. Problem: Computer keyboard is difficult to work with because the keys have worn out letters, the keyboard letters and numbers are too tiny and have no contrast, there is too much glare and reflection on the keyboard so that the keyboard is partially illegible and, coupled with vision difficulty and hunt & peck typing, everything is too slow and awkward.

Solution: Use keyboard stickons which have 400% larger and bolder numbers and letters.

3. Problem: When you need to see better, the first thing you need is good overhead lighting. However, your eyes need to be protected so that no light shines into your eyes.


A. Use flip-up eye shades or peaked caps to protect your eyes.

B. Use a hands free light with adjustable neck strap which gives a soft, bright reading light without disturbing others.


4. Problem: When you pour liquid into a cup, there is a good possibility of overflow because the level of liquid is hard to see.


A. For cold solutions, you can put a finger to the right height in a cup, glass, or coffeemaker and pour until you feel the liquid. For hot liquids, place the cup into a sink and pour. If it overflows, there is no harm.

B. The best way is a liquid level indicator which hooks onto the edge of the cup and will start playing a song or sounding a buzzer (depending on the model) once the liquid comes within 3/4" from the top.

5. Problem: How to compensate for being unable to see to read.

Solution: Listen to audio tapes. First, take advantage of the free Talking Books Program sponsored by the Library of Congress. All of the 4 track tapes are free and you have 20,000 titles to choose from.

Visit your local library to obtain an application to the Talking Books program. Have the application completed and signed by your eye doctor and return it to the library. They will process it and soon you will receive catalogs with many titles for your selection. Furthermore, they will send you a free 4 track player. The one to request is the EZ Player because it will automatically play all four sides of the cassette so that you will not have to turn the cassette over.

Second, almost all public libraries have a good collection of 2 track tapes that can be borrowed. They cannot be played on the Library of Congress 4/T player but can be played on any 2/T cassettte player. Another option is to buy a portable 2/4 track player and recorder. This way you can use your free Talking Book Tapes or library tapes anywhere, anytime.

There are available remote and sleep switches with 6 ft cords that will plug into the tape player so that you can easily stop the player without disturbing settings if you fall asleep, need to speak to someone or need to answer a phone.

6. The writer of these Low Vision Tips has had MD (Macular Degeneration) for over 24 years, has 18 patents, mostly related to overcoming vision difficulties, is a board member of the National Association of the Visually Handicapped and is President of ASF Lightware Solutions. The powerful combination of being an inventor, knowing how to manufacture and having MD permits him to fulfill needs for himself and many others thereby "turning lemons into lemonade!"

7. If you want information on additional low vision products and top quality support groups, please click onto our Low Vision Links page to further strengthen your new lease on Life.

ASF Lightware Solutions Box 625, Merrick, N.Y. 11566 USA
The Personal Portable Lighting Expert
email: ASF@readinglight.com
URL: http://www.readinglight.com

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