Being a blind author, you get asked a lot, how can you continue to write if you can’t see? How do you know if what you are writing is accurate and not riddled with grammatical errors and other cosmetic mistakes?
These were some of the questions I faced when losing my vision, as writing is a huge positive outlet for the adversity I have faced in my life. There are advancements in accessible technology that is released every year, but part of the underlining issue that it is either expensive to acquire it or not enough information is released to the right audience to make them aware of its existence.
Here are some of the resources I have tried, and links on where you can learn more about the products. 1. Writing/ signature guides: these are plastic or metal guides to help you write in a specific space, such as a letter, check, envelope, or to sign documents. https://www.maxiaids.com/writing-guide-kit-with-20-20-pen-and-low-vision-paper 2. Bold line paper: Dark bold line paper helps you see the libes of paper by offering a higher contrast. https://www.amazon.com/20-20-style-BoldWriter-Pen-Easy See/dp/B01CTAEY8C/ref=pd_bxgy_img_sccl_1/140-7001529-1413239?pd_rd_w=GFbgb&pf_rd_p=6b3eefea-7b16-43e9-bc45-2e332cbf99da&pf_rd_r=2MWRFJMXCJXTR957KNRN&pd_rd_r=862b97f3-a42b-4a65-be39-3344d257f064&pd_rd_wg=LMJCg&pd_rd_i=B01CTAEY8C&psc=1 3. The 20/20 pens are like sharpies that allows a darker ink for writing. Amazon.com : Low Vision Writing Paper - Bold Line -5 Pads: Writing Instrument Aids : Health & Household
4. Screen readers & screen magnifiers: A screen reader reads what is being presented on a computer screen. Users can use shortcuts and key commands to navigate the internet and applications either with JAWS or NVDA (non-visual desktop assistant). Screen magnifiers like Magic or ZoomText allows the entire screen to be magnified making text and images easier to see. Windows 10 includes a magnifier and narrator both free applications for the user. 5. Phone applications: Both Apple and Android phones offer tools to help you see your phone features through the accessibility settings and compatible apps. Through Apple there is voice over which reads the screen to you and zoom which is a screen magnifier. Android offers talk back like voiceover and look out to make things easier through the user. 6. Speech to text: Through notes you can use dictation or Siri/ Google virtual assistant to jot down ideas. Dragon is another option for dictation by using a headset with a microphone to type what you say into Microsoft Word. We hope that this article offered an insight on how you can continue your love of writing even with vision loss. Let Your Imagination Inspire You -Enchanting Tales Publishing Team