Whenever regular reading glasses are too weak, it is possible to try reading with stronger lenses at a closer distance. It makes the image larger.

Reading with strong reading glasses may become so tiresome that a TV-magnifier or a CCTV, closed circuit TV, is a more comfortable solution. There are different rules and regulations in different countries and states that require the visually impaired person himself to pay for some devices and subsidize some. The local representative of the organisation for the visually impaired, or the local deaf-blind worker, and your social worker should know how to get different visual aids and where to learn to use them properly.

Fig.31. Different reading glasses for a visually impaired person. Click at the link to see the reading position.
A. Regular reading glasses for skimming newspaper headings, for kitchen work and for meal time at the table.
B. Strong reading lenses
as a bifocal or half lenses for reading of ingress texts.
C. An even stronger reading glas
for reading of newspaper text. Note that the reading correction is only in one lens in this case. The other lens is not used for reading because of much worse vision in that eye, therefore the lens is of the same weight and of approximately the same power for cosmetic reasons.

Magnifiers are useful aids. A normally sighted person can use them when looking at something very small. Rod-formed magnifier in Fig.32.B is an inexpensive, yet useful present to be placed next to the telephone directory.

Fig.32. Different magnifiers.
A. Hand held magnifiers can be used at different distances above the text.
B. Stand magnifiers have a fixed distance because they stand on the surface.
C. Illuminated magnifiers. Some illuminated magnifiers can be charged or contacted with electric outlets.

Although the Figure 32 was drawn in early 1980s the basic structures of magnifying lenses are still the same. Some convenient new magnifiers are now available, like the one in Figure 32a A for reading phonebook texts and the one in Figure 32a B to read the small texts describing the ingredients of food in packages.

When optical magnification is insufficient electro-optical magnification is possible. Use of computers makes the changes of the size of text easy either by changing the font size or by using specific programs to increase the text size.

Fig.33. A telescope fitted on spectacle frames.

Telescopes are used for reading street names, reading from the black board, and in different working places. Telescopes fitted on frames (Fig.33) are comfortable when the person is watching television or in a theater or at a sports event.

Lamps are important visual aids for the visually impaired. Regular incandescent light is often sufficient if placed close enough.

Some visually impaired people prefer fluorescent light, especially if the reading distance is very short and the lamp has to be kept close to the face (Fig.34).

Fig.34. A fluorescent lamp is not hot and can be very close to the face of a visually impaired child. This child has a special slanted table for better ergonomics.

The short reading distance may cause heart problems in the elderly. It is wise to use a supporting surface or a book rack. There are numerous different devices to be used for holding texts, also for those who read in bed.

We want everyone to be able to read comfortably; the visually impaired are no exception. Their visual aids should be chosen and fitted very carefully and these should be given after training to make sure they can be used for longer periods of time.