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E-readers a Good Gift for Those with Impaired Vision

This is a discussion on E-readers a Good Gift for Those with Impaired Vision within the December 2010 forums; Know someone who has trouble seeing? A specialist at Greater Baltimore Medical Center has some ...


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Old 01-18-2011, 12:10 PM
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Default E-readers a Good Gift for Those with Impaired Vision

Know someone who has trouble seeing? A specialist at Greater Baltimore Medical Center has some gift ideas.

Dr. Janet Sunness, medical director of GBMC’s Hoover Low Vision Rehabilitation Services, says electronic readers and smart phones can offer medical benefits as well as enjoyment.

One out of every 6 Americans age 70 and older has some kind of visual impairment, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. And more than a million age 40 and older are blind. Another 2.4 million are visually impaired. Causes are age-related diseases such as macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.

“The number of Americans at risk for developing vision problems as a result of one of these diseases is increasing as the baby boomer generation ages,” said Dr. Sunness in a statement. “However, many individuals living with these conditions are making use of technology to help them adapt.”

She said e-readers – such as the Kindle and Nook -- are now much less expensive than the standard low vision video magnifiers.

They have high resolution screens with adjustable text size. Many also have high contrast letters. The Kindle also has a text-to-speech feature, meaning it can read books or other media out loud and can magnify the words up to 5 times the size of newsprint.

The iPhone also has a camera feature that can be used as a magnifier and contrast enhancer, she said. It also has a voice control. The iPad also can play pre-recorded books.

Published by Baltimore Sun
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