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Second Sense - Beyond Vision Loss

Five Top Tools for the Successful Student

The following are some great products and resources every student can use to succeed in school. The right tool or tool mix will vary based upon the student’s skill set and needs.

1. Daisy book reader

A device that provides the students access to print in an accessible, feature-rich, navigable format. Examples are the Victor Reader Stream, Plex Talk or Book Port Plus.

We recommend the Victor Reader Stream. This versatile, powerful DAISY-MP3 and NISO player lets students read and navigate through complex books, such as reference manuals and school books, as well as novels and magazines. They can also use its built in text-to-speech to read books in text format such as Bookshare. It also offers an integrated microphone to record voice notes.

2. Device for Taking Notes

These products offer the student an alternative to using recording devices. Many have multiple functions that add value. Examples are:

  • Mainstream products like netbooks, laptops and tablets. With the proper adaptive software and training, students can use these mainstream devices to take notes, complete assignments, access the Internet and so much more. Apple products offer built-in accessibility options—no additional cost for adaptive software!
  • Adaptive technology like electronic notetakers offer the functionality of a laptop in a compact, portable notetaker designed specifically for people with vision loss. There are versions with braille or qwerty keyboards. GW Micro offers the BrailleSense; HumanWare offers the BrailleNote and VoiceNote; and Freedom Scientific offers the PacMate
  • Apple iPhone offers a portable keyboard option that turns this versitle device into a lightweight notetaker.

3. Device to Access Print

  • Portable Video Magnifier: These devices allow students with low vision to access printed documents to complete assignments or follow along in class.

Optelec’sCompact and Farview models both offer a lightweight, compact design.

Enhanced Vision offers the Pebble Magnifier with easy controls and a foldable handle.

Freedom Scientific’s Ruby is our recommendation for its lightweight design and crisp image.

  • Digital Imaging System: Students can easily carry these folding cameras, connect them to a PC and take images of any printed material and then hear it read back to them. Different models offer additional functionality.

Pearl by Freedom Scientific sets up in seconds and offers many customizable options.

Intel Reader offers an all-in-one device that is highly portable and unobtrusive.

Zoom-Ex by ABiSee weighs just one pound and folds to fit in a laptop bag.

  • Distance Viewing Devices: These tools allow students to see the material on the board or across the classroom.

 Clear Note+ by Optelec combines near and distance viewing with a robust, portable and user-friendly design.

Acrobat by Enhanced Vision offers auto focus 3-in-1 camera for seeing yourself up close, reading and distance viewing.

Senseview offers the world’s smallest portable CCTV, with a 4.3″ widescreen LCD display, weighing just 7.8 ounces.

4. Membership to Organization Offering Digital Access to Books

5. Proper Adaptive Technology for Computer Access

  • Screen-Reading (voice output) software:JAWS by Freedom Scientific
  • NVDA a free open source software
  • WindowEyes by GW Micro
  • Screen-Magnification software:
    ZoomText by Ai Squared
  • MAGic by Freedom Scientific
  • Windows Magnifier is the built-in accessibility option with Microsoft Windows