ATI Special Affiliate News By Darrel Vickers, President Who we are: Adaptive Technology Inc. is a special interest affiliate of MCB. Because we are an affiliate, if you are a member of ATI you are a full member of MCB. For example, if you are a member of ATI there is no reason to also be a member at large.
What We Do:
- We discuss, support and encourage adaptive (assistive) technology for the blind.
- We host the vendor room at the MCB convention. 3 We have our own web site with a plethora of information about technology and how to get the most out of it.
What is Adaptive Technology:
Adaptive or assistive technology can be anything which helps a blind person carry out their everyday task and maintain as much independence as possible. In my case, I lost my sight gradually due to a rare retinal disease. Specialized adaptive technology, such as a CCTV, computer display magnification software and screen reading software, saved my career that I loved. I could support my family, help the kids through college and retire because I wanted to and not because I had to.
I invite anyone with an interest in adaptive technology or who wants to know more about it to join us. To join, visit http://ati.moblind.org and click the membership tab. Or contact me. Dues are $15 annually.
What is a Video Magnifier?
A video magnifier, or closed-circuit television (CCTV), provides a magnified image for use by people with low vision to enable them to maintain an independent lifestyle at work, home, or school. A video magnifier consists of a camera, monitor, lighting, and usually a stand. In addition to providing magnification, video magnifiers usually have enhanced contrast and other features that help you read magazines and letters, view family photos, write checks, perform work activities, do schoolwork, and engage in your favorite hobbies. Video magnifiers are used by people with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, glaucoma, and many other visual conditions.
Benefits of Video Magnifiers
Video magnifiers have many benefits that other solutions are unable to provide. They have a wide range of magnification, which means you can use them for a variety of tasks. They have a wide field of view, so they display more on the screen at a time, which reduces eye fatigue. Adjustable monitors can move in multiple directions to reduce glare. An auto-focus camera will keep the focus, even on books with a deep spine. You can write using a video magnifier, a task which is often difficult using a hand-held traditional magnifier. Nearly all video magnifiers can freeze the image for close inspection of small objects or to keep your place.
It is important to understand there are many companies who manufacture video magnifiers. The best thing to do is to try them out.
The four most key features in my opinion are;
1. An HD camera with auto focus.
2. The size of the display. Larger may seem better but it may not be for you.
3. Contrast and color. I could read light print on a dark background at a quarter of the magnification than with normal dark text on a white background. On the other hand, you may prefer a different color combination such as, yellow text and a blue background.
A substantial size and stable platform for the item you wish to see. There is also large desktop as well as portable models.
Until next time, Darrel