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Kent Association for the Blind

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Being unable to read and write because of your eye condition can be very frustrating. Our Rehab Workers can give you advice, techniques and equipment to help you make the most of your remaining vision to continue reading and writing, such as: 

  • Eccentric viewing techniques that can help with reading depending your eye condition.
  • A magnifier (low vision aid) can be prescribed through the hospital eye service. Magnifiers can be held by hand, illuminated, supported by a stand, clamped to a table or mounted onto spectacles. It is usually beneficial to have a range of magnifiers for different tasks. Ask KAB how to be referred.
  • Electronic magnifiers and closed circuit television (CCTV) give even greater magnification. You can try a range of these at one of our Resource Centres in Maidstone, Canterbury or Bromley.
  • Using a bold black pen on white paper when writing.
  • Writing frames can be helpful to guide the pen in a straight line. There are guides for envelopes and signatures too
  • Cheque book templates and large print statements are available from banks. All official correspondence, such as forms for applying for Disability Living Allowance, can be requested in large print.

Is the lighting suitable for your needs now?

You might find that the fixtures and fittings in your home are no longer suitable for you, and it might be useful to consider making some simple adapatations to help you make the best use your remaining vision.

  • Sit in a good light, either by a window or by a reading lamp.
  • A halogen floor standing uplighter will increase the lighting level, but they are not advised for children's rooms.
  • A fluorescent daylight task lamp can also help; bring the light round in front of you and position it facing downwards onto the page in front of you.
  • A well lit, glare free environment is usually beneficial. Daylight is ideal.
  • Lighting levels can often be improved by changing the light fittings. Choose a style that distributes the light evenly around the room. Avoid fittings where the light bulb is visible or where the shades throw shadows and patterns.

Reading by touch

  • If reading print is too difficult, learn Braille or Moon.
  • Braille is very versatile and consists of small dots embossed on paper. Braillists read by identifying the different position of the dots.
  • Moon is less well known but sometimes preferred as the embossed symbols are similar to a letter of the alphabet.
  • The Certificate in Grade 2 English Braille is a popular distance-learning course in reading and writing Grade 2 English Braille. The course is designed for sighted adults who are interested in using Braille as a means of communication and support. For more information contact RNIB.

Read more about Braille

Read more about Moon

Fair Access to Care System (FACS)

FACS is a scheme operated by Local Authorities to ensure that people can have access to services and equipment that will promote independence and help to ensure their safety. Before you think about buying a piece of equipment that will help with day-to-day living skills and mobility, please check with your local KAB office first. If you meet the FACS criteria, you may be eligible to receive equipment free of charge on longterm loan.

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