A couple of thoughts on the Kindle
In the reading world, I've been halfheartedly thinking about getting a Kindle (or similar device, I am not owned by a company). I'd love to try it, if even to have an opinion on its benefit for low-vision consumers, but I just don't think it's worth it yet.
  1. expensive, and does nothing on its own... you still have to buy books and subscriptions. Just entices you to spend more money.
  2. things I would subscribe to are things I'm currently reading online for free. I also get most of my books from library, borrow them from a friend, or at cheap used stores, cheaper than the advertised $10 price of most books.
  3. I have serious doubts that OT Practice or AJOT will be available in ebook form anytime in the next several years (there's still a large portion of our Wilma West library that is only available in hard copy form, not even in pdf) if ever at all, and my metro rides do help me read a lot of OT related stuff.
  4. I am visual. I enjoy the newspaper most for comics and browsing to find interesting stories, I certainly don't read right though. I do crosswords, which I can do on the computer or print out, but not on a device. Though I have a list of books I would like to read, I far more frequently walk through the stacks and pick out interesting looking items.
  5. I am demanding. If I am going to have an electronic device to read, then it also needs to be able to access my RSS account, my email, and should be able to let me clip from what I'm reading to an email to enable a blog post.
From what I have seen in person of the device, I do think it could be helpful for certain readers with low vision. The screen does not glare, I believe you can adjust the amount of back light as well and the font size. I haven't really played with the buttons or ever used the interface to download new books, so I can't comment on those features for low vision users. Depending on your vision needs, you may be better off with good lighting, a closed circuit TV magnifier, or any of a large assortment of devices. (An OT can help!! Get a referral to a low vision specialist OT from your ophthalmologist or primary physician) Also, don't forget that there are audiobooks (if you can tolerate that) at the library and available for free from Library of Congress for the blind.

Can you make a cheap and demanding person change their mind on the Kindle? Got an opinion of its usefulness for a person with low vision?

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

retracted 10/12/10