Working in Low Vision

A good thing happened yesterday. My CCTV digital magnifier and my ZoomText magnification software arrived at my office. Employees from the state agency I receive services from installed everything, and after a few hours, I was up and running.  I can feel my future eye strain lessening.

When I started working in April, I relied on Microsoft magnifier settings on the computers and my handheld LED magnifier. A few weeks ago, the guy who installed the office copier synced my computer and got a surprise.

“Whoa, that screen is wild,” he said, leaning back from the magnified output.

“Oh, I can turn that off for you,” I said, clicking the mouse to X out. “I have a visual impairment.” I go back to filing papers in the drawers around the corner.

I use technology at work to help me do my job: some high tech, some low tech. There are ways to still be out there earning a paycheck despite vision issues. So, if anyone finds her vision failing in the future, it doesn’t have to be such an obstacle to overcome. Sure, some of the options can be expensive, but there are state programs to help finance these things. We live in a time where accessibility gets easier and easier, seemingly by the week. I am grateful for the accessibility options I have today.

Let me know if you have questions about accommodations at work.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. April Brown says:

    I have so many questions. Today is sunny. It really is. And yet my eye, what’s left of it, sees it as a dark and cloudy day. I am having a difficult time.

    I start training on programs that should help me soon.

    Due to transportation lack, and other disabilities, I haven’t worked in years. As my vision fails, is there the software to scan my enormous book collection and read it to me? Will I be able to read raised print? I’m no sure my brain could learn braille. I must keep writing. Once my house is in order. Working on baseboards now. Have to have my headlight even if it’s sunny and all the lights are on.

    1. April: Finding what worked for me did not happen overnight. I added extra lighting sources in my home. I teamed up with an employment agency that my state agency referred. My office is right across the street from a bus stop, which takes care of transportation for me, and the state agency I qualified for services from helped me with a workplace assessment.
      I use Kurzweil software and camera to translate paperwork and books into speech output. I also use VoiceOver for text-to-speech when I am on the internet with an Apple product, or Zoomtext for text-to-speech when I’m using non-Apple stuff. There are other options for text-to-speech, but I’m not as versed in those. AccessWorld magazine from AFB reviews tons of technology options. See their site here.

  2. Thanks for the interesting blog about using technology for accessibility. I am retired but find my ipad a great help for keeping me in touch but it is not ideal for letters and reports. At present I am trying to decide between buying a large, high spec screen too fo with Windows or to inset in an apple pc. As I live in the UK the latter is very expensive. I should be interested in other people’s views. I have wet macular degeneration and can still read with the help of a basic magnifier.

    1. Bridget: Happy belated birthday. My preference is Apple, but I use a windows based network on the job. I use apps on my ipad to help me. like Adobe Reader for PDFs and VisionAssist to magnify and read papers in high contrast. Sometimes just taking a screenshot of something (home key and power key at same time), then making it bigger like you can with the iPad finger swipe works great. The website AppleVis does a great job on Apple product accessibility options and reviews. http://www.applevis.com/

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