BY: Eden Greer
The key to success is the ability to adapt!
Adapting to life with vision loss can be frustrating, disabling, challenging and rewarding. SightConnection understands that living with vision loss is not easy! However, we do know of tools and resources to make living independently easier.
Many people with impaired vision find it difficult to utilize their remaining eyesight to accomplish daily tasks such as reading, writing, viewing photos, filling out checks, and sewing. A powerful tool for helping people overcome the obstacles of low vision is the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV). CCTVs bring zoom into life! A CCTV is an electronic magnification reading system that enables visually impaired users to zoom in and read a variety of materials and also facilitates writing.
A CCTV system uses a stand-mounted or hand-held video camera to project a magnified image onto a monitor. The video camera works in real time to capture the image of the reading material. The stand-mounted CCTV works well when reading material is placed flat on the unit’s viewing surface under the camera. The viewing surface typically glides from top to bottom and from side to side. Hand-held CCTVs make it possible for users to position the camera on the material that is being viewed. These units are able to magnify nearly anything within reach of the camera, including labels on food and medicine.
New and innovative CCTV designs deliver a high level of performance by providing the user with many features. Zoom lenses allow for rapid change in magnification and the ability to change the contrast of the text creates less strain on eyes. For instance, the poor contrast of newspaper print can be enlarged 40X and converted to a contrast more suitable for the reader, such as white letters on a black background. CCTVs are very useful for those with vision loss because the video magnification systems are capable of higher levels of magnification than other optical solutions. Since many CCTV models have a range of magnification, it allows users to continue using them for many years, even as their vision continues to change.
Adapting one’s home to changing circumstances can be difficult, but the key to success is the ability to adapt! Leading an independent and active life is more manageable for those with vision loss when they are able to use CCTVs in their daily lives. CCTVs make achieving tasks such as reading newspapers, telephone books, bills, greeting cards, magazines, checkbooks, food packaging, and medicine bottles possible.
If you’re interested in bringing some zoom into your life – SightConnection has a CCTV rental program and coordinates new and used sales of CCTVs, as well as many other low vision devices. We also provide information, product literature, and personal demonstrations. To fully understand the potential of these tools, a one-on-one discussion is the best way to answer your questions about CCTVs and other products.
To learn more about CCTVs visit our website: www.sightconnection.org/publications/ or contact Eden Greer at (206) 525-5556 to learn more about our programs and services. At SightConnection our focus is on making sure you get the most appropriate devices that will support your individual goals and needs.