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Anne - Young Reading Lives

Mon, 12 Sep 2011

Anne is the mother of John who is 10 years old and partially sighted. At first John attended a mainstream school but eventually they decided he would make better progress being educated at home.

"It was initially so hard to make him look at anything to do with letters"

Anne made special tactile letters which helped John to engage with reading. A big breakthrough came when John was introduced to the Spy Dog series of books. He really enjoyed the funny stories and read his first Spy Dog book in a single day.

Video magnifier

Anne and john reading using a cctv magnifier

"There are no large print books for John at our local library"

If Anne can't find books in large print they use a CCTV or video magnifier. Video magnifiers are expensive but they received funding to purchase one.

A video magnifier is a simple way of reading text, images and maps for people with some useful vision. Printed material and objects are placed under a camera and the magnified image is displayed on a television screen or computer monitor. They are most often used for reading, but some can also be used for writing, checking a price tag, looking at a timetable or to read a whiteboard in a classroom.

Many people find they can read more comfortably with a video magnifier than with a traditional glass magnifier and therefore for longer periods. There is no absolute way of knowing whether a video magnifier will help you without trying one for yourself.

"If you have to slide books under a magnifier that is another skill in itself which can detract from the enjoyment of reading."

"If somebody is concerned about their visually impaired child learning to read, I would say to relax and take it slowly. Don't put any pressure on them. The goal is to have a child who loves reading, is passionate about reading, and loves books."