In the present world, assistive devices are almost everywhere, everyday technology has been coming up with new inventions to ease human life. In particular for the differently abled. A visually impaired child can get assistance from technology at all phases of life. Maybe it’s the technology people use everyday or might be any customized assistive technology /a combination of both.
The technological needs for a child will change along with their growth. To help the child to stay updated with his /her changing needs, parents or families need to stay informed with the latest availability and possibilities in the changing techno world of assistive devices. It might not be an all-in-one tool for the user’s entire life. The family of a visually impaired child should keep in mind that for these children to face the challenges and succeed in the present competitive world a child might need to carry around a toolbox with a lot of items for varied purposes and situations.
The below discussion is just to introduce to the family of the children on the options available to assist a child with a particular visibility impairment. The needs of every child do vary.
The easy way to categorize assistive technology tools is to separate devices as Optical, Non-Optical and High-tech devices.
Optical Devices: These assistive devices also known as ‘’Low Vision devices’’ use lenses like Magnifiers and Telescopes to make improved use of their existing vision.
Non-Optical Devices: This term means devices which are simple which involve no lenses, electronics or computers. The devices used in this procedure help the user to enhance their vision. Few of the devices used are as mentioned.
- A reading stand, which takes material closer to a child’s eyes.
- Dark-lined paper, which makes writing easier with better viewing.
- Bold markers for lettering.
- Large Print calculators to work out math problems.
- A visor or hat which prevents the overhead lights from glare or sun rays.
High Tech Assistive Technology:
A video magnifier can be considered as an optical aid and also a High-Tech piece of assistive technology. Variety of software programs are helpful in providing the information on a computer to be accessed by a visually Impaired person. Screen magnification programs help enlarge the image on a computer screen, whereas a speech-reading software is able to read the texts loudly.
The family must understand that the tools or devices used by one child will differ with the needs of another child. It will be customized for that child’s basic to special needs. Some are listed below.
10 Supportive optical medical tools for Blind children:
- A refreshable braille display.
- A slate and stylus.
- A signature guide which helps to position a pen used to signature one’s name.
- A calculator with a voice output software.
- Raised-line paper for graphing or writing.
- A digital recorder.
- A computer, or tablet with screen reading software, a softphone.
- A talking dictionary.
- An audio book player.
Children with multiple disabilities might use tools that are for children with low vision or blind and also could get relief/help from devices like,
- A book with pictures, print, raised symbols, or braille.
- A button operated communication device.
- A switch operated toy or appliance.
Thus, the Optical assistive technology makes sure every child is met with his particular needs helping them lead a better life.
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