Camera and Computer Serve as ‘Transformer’ for Low Vision Students

2 Sep
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West Robertson, M.Ed., NCLB, NCUEB

West Robertson, M.Ed., NCLB, NCUEB

Casey was named as the Distinguished Educator of Blind Children in 2012 in part for her constant advocacy that blind children learn braille in a positive environment. In addition to serving as an independent contractor with four school districts in Mississippi, Casey is an active researcher and instructor at Louisiana Tech University.

My students who have low vision are not too fond of the massive, heavy schoolbooks they have to carry from class to class. The large print books are, well, so large that they are awkward for most desks and little hands! Plus, the diagrams and pictures are in black and white, which not only isn’t “cool” but also often makes them tough to decipher.

This year, not a single textbook came in on time for one of my students. Since it was my job to ensure that he had access to the curriculum, I was glad to hear about this new, portable magnifier from Enhanced Vision. It’s really unlike any other CCTV or camera that I’ve ever used.

Named the Transformer, this 3-pound, USB-powered device solves what I call the “focal point problem.” Regardless of whether they’re looking at a monitor with their book, assignment or whiteboard (in the case of a camera), my students still had to look over at their notes, which were at a different size, with a different level of contrast, and farther or closer to their eyes. Refocusing on a new object certainly took time and stress.

After plugging the camera into his laptop, one of my students splits his computer screen: he has his notes or assignment on the left and the camera’s display on the right. His eyes can now focus on one screen, with great contrast, and at the same focal point. As he needs larger print or a wider viewing area, he can resize the window or just change the font size in his notes.

Close-up of Transformer cameraUnlike many other electronic magnifiers, the student can take a picture of a poster, save it to the computer, and enlarge it as needed. So, he can take home an exact replica without having to spend time recreating it.

This device isn’t cheap, but it is sure cheaper than buying nearly $800 in large print books per student each year. When we get to the point that there is a computer in each classroom, then this device will be even more convenient. For now, though, one student has moved from being the one who uses those not-so-cool, black and white books to the tech-savvy kid who gets to type his notes!

The following two tabs change content below.
West Robertson, M.Ed., NCLB, NCUEB

West Robertson, M.Ed., NCLB, NCUEB

Casey was named as the Distinguished Educator of Blind Children in 2012 in part for her constant advocacy that blind children learn braille in a positive environment. In addition to serving as an independent contractor with four school districts in Mississippi, Casey is an active researcher and instructor at Louisiana Tech University.

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