People who are blind or who have significant vision impairment benefit from technologies designed to assist them in accessing print or visually displayed information. Access to this kind of information can be provided by a wide range of devices, from screen readers which can convert information on a computer screen to speech, to video magnifiers (commonly called closed circuit televisions or “CCTV”) used to magnify print pages. Other devices include portable handheld magnifiers and white canes which are used to travel independently and safely. Also, access to information from at-home medical tests or prescription medication labels is crucial for actively controlling health. For instance, voice-output blood glucose meters allows people with diabetes, a condition which can lead to severe vision loss, to perform the functions necessary to conduct the test, read the results and treat themselves.
- Video Magnifiers/CCTV. Video magnifiers, also know as “CCTV,” magnify print pages and can be used in the home, school, work, and the community where access to printed or visually displayed information is critical to independent functioning. For instance, utilizing CCTV, individuals with vision impairments are able to self-monitor their chronic conditions, read their prescriptions, pay their bills, and perform other fundamental tasks of independent living. The most popular version of CCTV is a desktop system with a movable table for reading and either a video monitor or a television screen. These devices are particularly useful for older individuals because they generally feature simple controls.