Vision loss is one of the most prevalent disabilities affecting the general population, with the majority of occurrences afflicting those over 65. Although most older adults retain some useable vision, age related impairments particularly affect the ability to see print. Vision loss in later life poses a serious threat to the activity of reading for pleasure.
There are a number of visual aides available to keep seniors in the loop:
- Large print materials
- Optical Aides
- Talking Books
I have written about visual aides in previous posts but an article in the latest AARP newsletter (June 2009) highlighted a new way of making books accessible to seniors. A mini-article by Cathie Gandel titled “Making Books Accessible,” caught my eye and I thought it was worth revisiting this vital topic. A recent partnership between Bookshare (world’s largest online library of digital books for people with print disabilities) and a number of publishing houses have created a Book Group. Membership with Bookshare makes it possible to download books and use software that reads books aloud, displays them in text on a computer screen or uses a Braille access device. Membership is available for those who have difficulties reading standard print. For information check the website at (www.bookshare.org).