Assistive Technology for Reading

Video magnifiers, often called closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs) or electronic magnification devices (EMDs), use camera technology to display a picture of a printed page or a 3D object on a screen, making it possible to enlarge the image so that you can see it more easily. They come in many different sizes and types. Some are small enough to fit in your purse or pocket and others sit on a desk and have a 22″ LCD screen.

You can use a video magnifier to view anything from personal letters and bills, to pill bottles and magazines. You can even use it to magnify photographs. With many models, you can control the color of the background and foreground so that you get the best contrast for your vision. Very often, video magnifiers help people with vision loss read smaller print for longer periods than they are able to with low vision aids.

About This Assistive Technology Tip

This tip is the first in a planned series of assistive technology tips requested by you, our readers, through the survey we sent out a few weeks ago to tip subscribers. Over the next several months, you’ll receive information on specific assistive devices designed to help you more easily accomplish everyday tasks.

For more information on low- and high-tech devices that can help you read, see the Reading Tools and Techniques article.