Optelec Compact 6 HD Video Magnifier with Speech

Image of Optelec 6 inch video magnifier with speech capabilities.
Optelec Compact 6 HD with Speech Magnifier

Handheld video magnifiers come in a variety sizes from 5-6 inch pocket size to larger magnifiers with 10–12-inch screen. This offers users devices for spot magnification using a portable device to devices that can present more enlarged print with the larger 10-12 inch screens. An additional feature being offered in the past year or two is text to speech capabilities along with magnification on a dedicated device.

A recent client evaluated for her AT needs with low vision and a reading disability required support to complete continuing education, however also required on the spot access to print enlarged and decoding support on the job and away from a computer. While iPad or iPhones can be an option, the client’s work situation did not allow use of standard electronics such as smartphones or tablets. While computer based assistive software was identified to support continuing education needs, magnification for spot magnification was also explored for vocational tasks.

Handheld portable video magnifiers 5” and larger were trialed with the client with a preference for a 5-6 inch device for ease of portability. While familiar with a variety of handheld video magnifiers, those with text to speech features have not been a need, nor trialed. A search for handheld pocket-sized video magnifiers resulted in a number offering text to speech and a variety of features such as touch screens, those with tactile buttons and OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to support text to speech capabilities among a variety of other tools. A visit to a low vision specialty center to trial handheld magnifiers with speech capabilities helped identify features that would support the client’s skills and needs.

The Optelec Compact 6 HD Video Magnifier with Speech has been available for a year or two. This device was selected offering features of a handheld video magnifier, integrated stand for near vision magnification, in addition to excellent clarity, a touch screen and ease of processing captured print for text to speech output. The controls of the Optelec were visually large for the client to view with easy touch screen navigation, setting customization quickly navigated by the client with smartphone experience.

Image of Optelec video magnifier with basic magnification tools

The Optelec Compact 6 has two cameras, one for Magnification when reading hard copy text and a second Overview camera for capturing images, processing with OCR for text to speech capabilities. The modes were easy to visually access for individuals with mild to moderate low vision and operate following instruction. Images captured using the Magnification mode and Overview mode can be processed and read, however to read a large amount of print or whole page, the Overview mode capturing a whole page for processing and reading is required. The Optelec Compact has many other features, as connecting to a computer or external monitor for enlargement, saving images and OCR documents, settings for customizing contrast, a screen tracking line, speech rate among others.

Image of Optelec Compact 6 HD with text to speech feature
Optelec Compact 6 HD Text to Speech Tools

The following short video provides a quick look at the Optelec Compact 6 HD Video Magnifier:

Optelec Compact 6 HD with Speech Video Review

Features of the Optelec Compact 6 HD with Speech:

  • Point the camera, capture the text, and listen as the text is read aloud
  • View and magnify text, objects and photos
  • Small and pocket-sized design
  • More words on-screen for maximum overview
  • Easy to hold thanks to the ergonomically designed side grips
  • Instant on and ready to use within 1 second
  • Customizable button bars
  • Clock function
  • Designed to move smoothly over reading materials

Specifications:

  • Large 6-inch high brightness touch screen
  • Continuous zoom: <0.5 to >21 times magnification
  • 2 High Definition auto-focus cameras for reading and viewing objects and photographs
  • High contrast semi-colors for easier reading
    (set up to 4 combinations from a possible choice of 16)
  • Reversible USB C connector for charging
  • Rechargeable battery offering an average of 3 hours continuous use
  • Dimensions: 183 x 95 x 14 mm / 7.2 x 3.7 x 0.55 in
  • Weight Compact 6 HD 270 grams / 9.5 ounces
  • Weight Reading Stand 110 grams / 3.0 ounces
  • 2-year standard warranty

The client easily navigated the Optelec Compact 6 HD with Speech after initial training, customization and application of the features of the device to access print with magnification and text to speech. Sleep modes were also customized for her use to maintain battery life during her workday. Other features such as connecting it to HDMI, use of Miracast to connect to smart TV’s and saving images and scanned documents are also features of this Optelec Compact Magnifier. I found the device easy to use with good instructions available in the manual and quick instruction handouts.

The Optelec Compact 6 HD Video Magnifier with Speech is a portable and easy-to-use dedicated video magnifier with text-to-speech capabilities. With its touch screen, it is especially easy for individuals with some available vision and experience with touch screen devices to navigate and use. It is available for purchase from Amazon.com * or from Optelec vendors. More information on the Optelec Compact 6 HD with speech can be found at the Optelec Website.

More for your OT or AT eToolkit!

Carol from OT’s with Apps and Technology.

*As an Amazon Associate, product purchases may yield earnings.

Posted in Accessibility, Assistive Technology, Low Vision/ Blindness, OCR, Text to Speech, Visual Impairment | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Scanmarker Air Pen – A Digital Notetaking Tool

Scanmarker Air Pen

The Scanmarker Air pen is a wireless, OCR scanning pen. With scanning lines of print, the pen completes optical character recognition and transfers it to another source. Companion software installed on a computer (Mac or Windows) or iOS or Android tablet or smartphone offers features of text to speech, transcription or a bar code reader. When using a computer scanned text can be transferred direct into documents. The Scanmarker Air is the wireless digital highlighter pen whereas the standard Scanmarker Pen transfers text using a USB wired connection.

The Scanmarker pen has been available for a few years with the Air model the most recent version. The Scanmarker Air pen also provides a USB cable allowing it to connect directly to a computer. Here is a short video overviewing the Scanmarker Air:

Scanmarker Air Trial

Evaluation recently of a secondary student transitioning to post secondary education asked about the pen, resulting in checking it out more to determine the pen’s features and how it might support students with disabilities. My initial experience with the Scanmarker Air pen found the Scanmarker software and apps easy to download on my Windows computer and also older iPad Air. Connecting the Scanmarker to both devices and the software or app was also fast, and immediately successful. Short tutorials were provided with set up providing practice with the device and the software/app providing immediate successful experience that guided me in basic features of the pen to get started.  

Scanmarker Companion Software Features

The companion software and app downloaded to my Windows 10 computer and also an older iPad Air tablet without any problems. The software is pretty basic with features of handedness, text to speech rate, speaking, transcription and languages. Over 40 languages are available for transcription. Below is a glimpse of some of the settings of the Scanmarker software for Windows and iOS.

Windows:                                                                             

Windows Scanmarker companion software

iOS

Operation

The Scanmarker works by sliding the head of the pen over text, which is scans and sends the text to a document or the receiving companion software. The text is then entered into the interface or document to be edited, saved and or shared. Choices of read, transcribing, sharing the text (email, DropBox, Google Drive) is offered within the software. As aforementioned, there are more than 40 different transcription languages and the software provides changing the rate of the text to speech. Intial accuracy of the scanned text was good resulting in good text to speech when using the read aloud function. As with most other scanning pens starting well ahead of the first word or letter in a line of text scanned helped the accuracy of the scanned first word.  Battery life is reported to be approximately 7 days of normal use.  The device is extremely light weight, appears durable and easy to handle.

Cost

The Scanmarker Air is the wireless version selling for about $139 on Amazon. The Scanmarker Pen USB (wired) version sells for about $89. A Scanmarker Air  Bundle is available offering the pen, USB charging/transfer cables and case for about 149.

Scanmarker Air Pen Bundle

Summary

The Scanmarker Air is a text scanning tool available in a wireless and wired version offering copying text from a hard copy source to digital format for note-taking, reading aloud, or translation. Easy to set up and use, the Scanmarker Air is a tool for students or individuals taking notes, reading and saving information in a digital format.

For students who want to acquire and transfer digital notes from a hard copy source, have text to speech or translation capabilities, this tool was definitely easy to set up and use. If students are looking to access print using text to speech without the use of another device, they may want to consider using other scan and read pens, such as the C-Pen Reader that scans lines of print and reads it aloud directly from the pen or use a scan and read app such as Claro ScanPen app offering OCR processing in its app when taking a picture with a mobile device camera.

 For more information on the Scanmarker Air pen visit Scanmarker website

More for your OT Toolkit

Carol, OT’s with Apps and Technology

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, Amazon product links may yield earnings.

Posted in Accessibility, Android, Assistive Technology, Mac, Note Taking, Note Taking App, OCR, Windows, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More Talking Books, Please! — Low Vision Tech

Having difficulty getting electronic books due to the COVID Pandemic? 

The Low Vision Tech blogger shares instructions regarding downloading books using the BARD service. Check out the Low Vision Tech’s post to help you out.

“I’m out of books, what am I going to do now?” This was the short version of a call I received from a former client a couple weeks ago, when businesses and rehab agencies sent staff home to reduce public exposure to COVID-19. She’d heard a rumor that the Talking Books she looks forward to…

via More Talking Books, Please! — Low Vision Tech

H/T to Low Vision Tech for taking the time to share information on accessing Bard services.

Posted in Accessibility, Book, Low Vision/ Blindness, Reading, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Livescribe Echo 2 Pen is Coming!

Image of Livescribe Echo 2 pen
Echo 2 Pen

News from Livescribe, com announced the Echo 2 pen is available for pre order at a price of $149.95.   Unavailable for more than a year, it appears it will be coming hopefully soon. It’s great news for individuals looking for assistive note taking options!

The Livescribe Echo pen for more than a decade has been a recommended assistive pen used for note-taking for both students and employees. The Echo pen is a rechargeable pen (with USB cable) that scans handwritten notes while voice recording and synchronizing both recording and handwriting information using specialized dot matrix paper. The Echo pen and Livescribe Notebook with dot matrix paper allows the user methods of listening to the recorded directions or lectures by tapping the handwriting on the specialized paper to review or gather missed information. The Echo pen notebook looks like a standard notebook and the Echo pen is discrete looking, only a bit fatter than a Sharpie marker. The Echo pen is very simple to use, offering individuals who prefer handwritting notes a standard handwriting method supported by voice recordings information presented for later review.

The Echo pen was a frequent choice for students who have difficulty taking notes during presentations with dense information, fast paced lectures or for employee or work meetings to gather detailed information they may miss (pending permission to record). Clients using the Echo pen were varied with individuals with learning disability, mobility impairments such as CP, an arm or hand injury, individuals with autism, attention deficits or those with mental health issues. Given its ease of use and discrete appearance, clients found the pen a great assistive note taking option. It is great news that the Echo 2 pen is coming back as an AT tool to support persons with a disability.

As indicated on their website, Livescribe is offering Pre-ordering the new Echo 2 Pen. No delivery date is projected at this time.

While the Livescribe is taking pre-orders for the Echo 2 pen, other accessories are available on their website or Amazon such as Livescribe Notebooks (dot matrixed notebook paper used for all models of Livescribe pens) or the Livescribe Symphony Pen which requires an electronic device ( Smartphone or tablet) to voice record.

Many clients are looking forward to the availablity of new Echo 2 pen! Stay tuned for more information when delivery is available.

Carol @ OT’s with Apps and Technology

Disclosure: OT’s with Apps and Technology may receive fees for purchases made with Amazon product links.

Posted in Adaptive Devices, Assistive Technology, AT for Handwriting, Dysgraphia, Handwriting, Learning Disability, Note Taking, Special education, Voice Recorder, Writing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Quadtools – Custom Fit American Made Adaptive Aids

Image of adaptive grill tongs for quads.
Adaptive Grill Tongs from Quadtools.com

Easterseals Crossroads Indata Project curates all things AT. I admire their team that scours and reviews AT with the full spectrum of disabilities in mind. A recent post featuring Quadtools.com reviews an American-Made business that customizes tools for quadriplegics.

Check out the Crossroads Quadtools post and Quadtools website for the inspirational story and the customized tools available – it will be well worth your visit.

H/T to Easterseals Crossroads Indata Project. Thank you for your expert, shared information on everything AT.

Carol – from OT’s with Apps & Technology.

Posted in Accessibility, Activities of Daily Living, Adaptive Devices, Assistive Technology, Mobility Impairment, Occupational Therapy, Physical Disability Tool | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Voice Dream Apps – Sale!

Image of Voice Dream Reader apps
Voice Dream Reader Suite Apps

Congratulations to Winston Chen for receiving the 2021 Apple Design Award. Well deserved for his continued development of Voice Dream Reader apps supporting persons with reading disabilities since inception in 2011. Winston through the years has developed and improved his apps, listening to the needs of individuals with disabilities to make information accessible. He is commended for his dedication to supporting individuals with reading challenges for the past decade.

Since Voice Dream Reader App(s) debut, they have been my recommended app for clients benefitting from a mobile app for reading. A frequent recommendation, Voice Dream Reader and companion Voice Dream Scanner apps provide individuals with on-demand access to a variety of print sources with many customizable features for individuals with vision impairment, dyslexia, blindness, photophobia and other perceptual challenges. Available for mobile devices only, Voice Dream Reader, Scanner, Writer or Suite is available for iOS, and Legere Reader and Scanner apps are available for Android.

Until January 2, Voice Dream Reader apps for iOS are all 50% off. For more information about the apps, Winston Chen’s journey in developing the apps, and links to the apps visit VoiceDream.com. I highly recommend checking out these universal assistive reading apps for your clients. What a great investment!

Congratulations to Winston Chen for his recognition of the 2021 Apple Design Award – so deserved!

Carol @ OT’s with Apps and Technology

Posted in Accessibility, Apps for Special Needs, Assistive Technology, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Learning Disability, Low Vision/ Blindness, Reading, Scanning, Special education, Text to Speech, Universal Design, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Neo Smartpen RECO — Assistive Technology at Easter Seals Crossroads

Image of Neo Reco recording device for use with Neo smart pens and paper
Neo Reco recording device for use with Neo smart pens and paper

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve written about different Neo smartpens.  In addition to a variety of smartpens, Neo also offers the Neo Smartpen RECO, which is the “world’s first intuitive voice recorder.” Further, Neo Smartpen RECO is the voice recorder that keeps track of notes written on paper.  20 more words

Neo Smartpen RECO — Assistive Technology at Easter Seals Crossroads

For years the Livescribe Echo Pen and notebook paper were my go-to handwritten assistive note-taking tools. It currently is not available, and after waiting for the Echo2 for almost 12 months, it has required finding another assistive note-taking tool that supports handwriting notes and recording. The Neo dimo pen, Reco recorder, and Neo Paper offers similar tools and products and are easy to use when handwriting notes are preferred. Easter Seals Crossroads review does a great job of reviewing these Neo devices. Click the above link to find out more about the Neo Smartpen RECO device as an assistive note-taking tool.

H/T to Easter Seals Crossroads for their continuous curating of the latest AT devices and updates!

Carol from OT’s with Apps and Technology.

Posted in Adaptive Devices, Assistive Technology, Note Taking, Writing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Web-Based Assistive Technology Continuing Education – Remote Training Opportunities for Winter 2021

Continuing Education for Assistive Technology

If you are a therapist or assistive technology specialist, keeping up to date with new equipment, current issues regarding AT services as well as completing required continuing education for certifications requires finding online learning resources due during the COVID Pandemic. With the demand for remote learning, many continuing education webinars and conferences are on line with some free and some offering CEU’s typically with live on line sessions.

Listed below are a few continuing education resources that might help you with updating your skills, getting new ideas for remote delivery of training and services or to gain needed CEU’s.

AT3 Center Webinar Listings for Januarys:

The AT3 Center has listing of Free AT Webinars – January 2021 curated by Eliza Anderson sharing AT Webinars for Adults and AT Webinars for K-12 and AAC. The webinars appear timely and interesting! Check the AT3 Center Blog for monthly new webinars and information as well as their Archives for past blog posts you may have missed. H/T to Eliza for her curating and sharing of AT information!

ATIA 2021AT Connected

The Assistive Technology Industry Association, known for its annual conference in Florida in January and February is bringing you virtual and remote learning with many options of virtual attendence in part or for the full conference. Scheduled for January 25-28 and February 1-4, 2021, offered each week in the following strands:

Augmentative & Alternative Communication

Vision & Hearing Technologies

Education & Learning

AT for Physical Access & Participation

Registration is offered for full conference registration, by strand, or single day. Free registration is also available CEU’s may not be provided.

Live presentations are available during the scheduled days of the ATIA conference, however recorded content is available until June 2021. More information on conference costs and sessions can be found at ATIA 2021: AT Connected Home.

Georgia Tech Tools for Life

Georgia Tech Tools for Life website offers AT related webinars with live scheduled webinars offering CEU’s for specific credentialing agencies. Recorded webinars are also available for review of past AT presentations. For current webinars and registration information as well as archived webinars visit this link: Georgia Tech Tools for Life Training .

TTACVirginia Department of Education Training and Technical Assistance Centers (TTACs)

The TTAC has a search able data base of webshop titles pertaining to education and technnology. Digital/online courses are self paced or archived.

Pacer Center

The Pacer Center has been a leader in providing AT training and services for children. Online webinars are available through the Pacer Center with 2021 monthly offerings listed on their website page- Workshops and Live Stream Events. Registration is typically required.

Tennesse Association for Assistive Technology

The Tennesse Association for Assistive Technology as an extensive list of linked associations that provide educational and professional development opportunities. Check out their extensive resource list of AT Professional Development on their TAAT website.

While not exhaustive in every area of AT, the list provides links to AT professional development opportunities that may offer needed information or CEU’s to keep you up to date, provide information on current issues or CEU’s for 2021 recertifications.

If you have any additional suggested AT training opportunities, please share!

More for your OT and AT Toolkit!

Carol

Posted in Assistive Technology, Continuing Education | Tagged | Leave a comment

Tips, Tricks & Tech to Reduce Digital Eye Strain

Current Stay at Home mandates due to COVID 19 have resulted in a lot of stress including visual stress from extended use of digital tools used for communication, education, entertainment, shopping and completing business tasks. Our connection to many of our daily activities due to COVID Stay at Home orders relies on interacting with digital technology and extending the screentime needed to connect with the outside world.  Digital eye strain is more prevalent than ever during social distancing during this pandemic.

What Causes Eye Strain or Computer Vision Syndrome?

WebMD explains digital screens cause eyestrain due to lack of blinking when viewing an electronic screen. Matter of fact research indicates individuals blink less than half as often when working on a digital device (smartphone, tablet, computer monitor, gaming device) resulting in our eyes getting dry and irritated (WebMD). Other factors which can increase visual stress when viewing an electronic screen include reduced contrast, glare, lighting, size of the print or screen size and flickering of the screens. Certain diagnoses and even medications can contribute to visual strain such as uncorrected vision problems, aging eyes (presbyopia), bifocals or conditions which cause discomfort glare.  Even small visual challenges can contribute to developing or increased visual discomfort when using your vision for close tasks for prolonged periods of time (American Optometry Association).

Tips, Tricks and Tech to Reduce Computer Vision Syndrome or Digital Eye Strain

Solutions to digital eye strain vary and should start with a recent exam by an eye specialist to ensure the correct glasses are prescribed. Other suggestions include positioning, taking eye breaks, controlling monitors, tasks or device light levels and glare. The following image provides an appropriate example of ergonomic positioning a computer monitor:

1512.m10.i308.n040.P.c20.315153779 Correct sitting posture. Vect

Recommendations from the American Optometry Association include:

  • Check the positioning of your device screen for appropriate positioning
  • Bring the monitor up to your eye level. Ergonomic specialists recommend the top of the screen is at eye level, with your eyes looking downward at approximately 15-20˚.
  • Laptop computers and tablets used for long periods of time should be positioned on a stand that follows the above guidelines.
  • Sit up straight

What Stands or Positioning Devices are Available for Electronic Devices?

Stands for Positioning for Laptops:

While many types of stands are available, the following low tech and adjustable stands are my favorite options:

  • Use of a 4” binder as a stand for a laptop computer. Combine two binders together (duct tape together!) is another option to create an incline or stand to raise your monitor. Non-skid material under the computer can aid in keeping it on the slant surface.Image of binder used as a laptop stand with nonskid material to reduce sliding.
  • The 3M Easy Adjust Laptop Stand https://amzn.to/2SNBzIo (approximately $40 on Amazon.com) can be used with 12-15” laptop computers to provide appropriate ergonomic positioning of the monitor.

Image of laptop computer stand

Stands for Tablets 10” or Less or Smartphones:

  • The Nulaxy Tablet Stand is fully foldable and will manage an iPad Air, iPad mini, iPhone or 7-9″Android tablet. The stand has dual hinges that allow adjustability of height and angle and completely folds for easy storage and portability.  Sells for about $16 on Amazon.com. I use this to position my iPad or smart phone. The charging port remains available to charge the device while being used.

Foldable stand for 9-10 inch lightweight tablets or smart phones

  • MAGIPEA tablet stand holder is a clamp-on, adjustable stand for tablets or smartphone. It provides a flexible stand for a tablet or phone which can also be used for taking pictures, as a document scanner or for positioning for video conferencing.  It easily clamps to a desktop surface flexible with ergonomic positioning.  Costs under $25. (available from Amazon.com)

.Flexable clamp on tablet or smartphone holder

Additional Recommendations to Reduce Computer Vision Syndrome or Digital Eye Strain:

  • Limit the amount of time spent on electronic devices. Break up time spent on devices with distance viewing tasks.
  • To reduce developing dry eyes, make an effort to blink frequently to keep your eyes moist.
  • Take eye rest breaks. One rule to remember is the 20-20-20 rule. Look away at 20 feet for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. This “stretches” or moves eye muscles which can reduce eye strain.
  • Another method of relaxing your eye is using the technique “palming” your eyes. Slightly cup your hands and place them over your eyes so there is no pressure on your eyeballs. Rest your elbows on the surface to aid relaxation. Maintain your eyes closed and position your so no light is allowed in.  Palming can be done for short or longer periods with the goal of relaxing eye muscles. More information on palming can be found at Seeing.org.
  • Use matte finish monitors to reduce glare from light sources. Windows, lighting, mirrors and other reflective surfaces reflect light causing glare. If you don’t have a matte’ monitor and discomfort glare is problematic,  anti-glare screens can be purchased for specific models of monitors or laptop screens.
  • Adjust the brightness of the screen to a comfortable level. The amount and type of lighting is often a personal preference and can be controlled on computers using keyboard functions on a Windows computer using the Fn key + F11/F12 ( Windows support link), MacBook brightness controls are available at Apple Support , iPad/iPhone control settings described at Apple Support  and Android tablet/phone brightness settings described at Android Central .
  • If you prefer a warmer light, try out the Night light setting on all electronics which reduces the blue spectrum lighting and offers a warm, yellow hue to the light level of your screen. Although this is typically used during night hours,  it can be turned on for most of the day by setting the start and end times through day hours (e.g. 12:01 AM to 11:59 PM).
  • For some individuals, using colored filters can also reduce stress caused by certain light levels or light sensitivities. The iOS settings offers customized colored filters on for you screen which might decrease visual stress.
  • Comfortable ambient and/or task lighting also reduces eye strain. Light levels as aforementioned are a personal preference, however consider the placement of the monitors and lighting to reduce glare:
    • Position monitors away from windows, lighting allowing light to reflect on the screen, a cause of glare. Glare is stressful to the eyes with some people finding it more distressing than others or even disabling. As we age, glare becomes more of a problem due to changes in our eyes.
    • Move task lighting to where it is not shining on the monitor  or directly in our eyes. Task lights with flexible positioning offer the ability to direct the light away from the screen of your device. Many task lights now have dimmable lighting such as the Taotronics dimmable, adjustable light (available at Amazon for about $40).
    • If overhead lighting creates glare on your monitor, try turning off the lighting and turning the monitor away from the light. Fluorescent lighting tends to cause more glare than LED or full spectrum lighting. Explore the types or brightness of the light bulbs to find a more comfortable light or brightness.
    • Tilting the screen downward a bit can also reduce light bouncing off the monitor causing glare.

In summary, take a break away from your computer or electronic device. Give it and your eyes a break.  Engage in a task that does not require near vision task with a lot of detail to rest and relax your eyes. Our body does not handle doing the same thing for long periods of time and that also applies to use of our eyes. For individuals 40 years and older, our eyes do not adjust as quickly as when we were twenty years old. Taking visual breaks periodically can help relax our eyes and reduce visual fatigue.

What techniques or tools do you use to give your eyes a break?

Try enjoying the outdoors as it gets warmer and give your eyes, body and mind a fresh break!

Stay Safe!

Carol – OT’s with Apps and Technology

References:

Computer Vision Syndrome retrieved on 5/8/2020 from: https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/protecting-your-vision/computer-vision-syndrome

Palming retrieved on 5/8/2020 from: https://seeing.org/techniques/palming.html

Prevent Eyestrain from Digital Devices retrieved on 5/8/2020 from https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/prevent-digital-eyestrain

Posted in Accessories, Android, iPad, iPhone, Vision, Windows | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Voice Dream Reader and Voice Dream Scanner Apps – At Home Special Bundle Price!

image of Voice Dream Reader and Voice Dream Scanner app

Voice Dream At Home Bundle Sale

Voice Dream Reader app (iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad; Android) has been a long-standing favorite reading app offering text to speech and many customization settings to support individuals with a disability. As a mobile reading app, its advanced and customized settings make it a versatile e-learning tool, managing a variety of document formats, high quality text to speech voices and customization of the size, color, font and spacing of the print. The developer, Winston Chen has continually upgraded Voice Dream Reader to support the needs of individuals with reading challenges for individuals with print disabilities.

Voice Dream Reader app features, text to speech, library, study and focus.

The companion app, Voice Dream Scanner  (Android), developed just a year or so ago, provides OCR scanning capabilities for documents and instant access with text to speech or direct sharing OCR documents directly to Voice Dream Reader app. Recent upgrades to Voice Dream Scanner app allow quick processing of text and reading text automatically. Voice Dream Scanner app also includes features such as language detection, a “ScanTone” tool with AI technology, auditory feedback of recognizable text, angles, and document edges when using the camera. Other scanning features include auto and batch scanning, turning light lighting on/off, selecting and editing the scanned text.  Used as a self-standing app or companion to Voice Dream Reader, this app provides access to print for struggling and typical readers. I use Voice Dream Reader to listen to articles while traveling often due to the long (boring) hours spent in the car.

Voice dream scanner, OCR, Text to speech, batch scanning and export features

Bonus Special Price During COVID

Currently, the Voice Dream Read At Home bundle is offered in the Apple App Store for 9.99, with Voice Dream Reader and Voice Dream Scanner app bundled together (origninally 15.98) during the COVID Pandemic. A great deal if you are considering buying both apps.  The Voice Dream Reader and Scanner Android apps do not appear to be offered in a discounted bundle at this time.

Voice Dream Reader app is a highly recommended app that can benefit anyone. I recommend this app for individuals with learning disabilities, low vision and as aforementioned, as a typical reader, I use this app to listen or read documents when traveling, running or working around the house.

For more information or tutorials on features of the app, visit Voice Dream Reader.com for more information on these apps.

Stay at home and stay safe!

Carol- OT’s with Apps and Technology

Posted in Accessibility, Adults with LD, Android, Apple Watch, Apps for Special Needs, Assistive Technology, COVID 19, Customizable app, Dyslexia, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Learning Disability, OCR, Reading, Scanning, Text to Speech, Universal Design | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Cleaning Your Assistive Technology Devices — Assistive Technology at Easter Seals Crossroads

cleaning supplies

Sanitizing Options for AT Devices

The folks at Easterseals Crossroads provide additional recommendations for sanitizing frequently used AT devices for individuals with disabilities. Great cleaning suggestions including devices are provided in the following blog post.

Cleaning is more important now than ever before as we continue to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Although many people are keeping quarantined at home, it’s virtually impossible to avoid having to run errands — unless you have some kind of fallout shelter stocked up with food and supplies! 25 more words

via Cleaning Your Assistive Technology Devices — Assistive Technology at Easter Seals Crossroads

For basic recommendations on cleaning mobile devices, check out the March 2020 post “Disinfecting Your Devices” on OT’s with Apps for other sanitizing suggestions.

Thank you to Easterseals Crossroads for their weekly gems of all things AT!

Carol – OT’s with Apps and Technology

Posted in Adaptive Devices, Assistive Technology, Cleaning your iPad/iPod, COVID 19, Maintenance, Mobile Device Use | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment