This is a discussion of some tools which could be helpful for a student with low vision and colorblindness. More tools exist and can be explored in another iteration of the list if desired. Additionally, not all tools work for all students; therefore, this list is a collection of suggested tools. Ultimately, the preferences of the student will dictate the usefulness of the tools.
Reducing Glare and Backlighting
- Anti-Glare Screen Protector for Laptop
- Anti-Glare Screen Protector for iPad
- Anti-Glare Screen Protector for iPhone
- Anti-Glare Glasses
- This particular link is for a pair which sits over an existing pair of prescription glasses.
- Prescription glass can be made with a certain level of glare protection/tint as well, though you would need to consult your eye doctor.
- As we’ve discussed, changes can be made right in your devices’ settings to optimize reading and reduce irritation:
- On you iPhone, you can play with all color and background settings in in the Accessibility menu
- On your iPad, you can do the same!
- On your laptop, you can also do this as well.
Tools for Colorblindness
Enhancing color contrast
On the laptop
- You can adjust the contrast of your device, at large, by accessing your device’s Accessibility settings.
On the Web
- In Chrome, you can select high-contrast “dark themes.”
- In Chrome, you can install a High Contrast extension which enhances the contrast of all webpages.
- This is actually a tool used by graphic designers and web designers to ensure their products are compliant. But, what it can allow us to do it identify specific colors on a webpage. Using the eyedropper tool in conjunction with something like WebAIM’s contrast checker we can determine if two colors are different and how significant that difference is.
- While this tool does not translate to Word Documents, it is completely functional in Mozilla or Chrome browsers. So, you are able to analyze the colors in Google Docs with no problem.
- Seeing AI
- This is not the perfect tool for color identification, but it is good in a pinch.
- A free photo editor similar to Photoshop. Opening an image within this program, a user can isolate specific colors, omit background and foreground colors, invert contrast, and generally manipulate images in numerous ways. Documents converted to PDFs can also be opened and manipulated within the program.
- Aside from the tech solutions discussed above, there are a few non-tech approaches which can reduce eye-strain:
- 20-20-20 – For every 20 minutes of close work you are doing, look 20 feet away (or as far away as possible) for 20 seconds. Then, resume work. This helps to relax the muscles in your eyes which are working hard to focus up-close.
- Artificial tears – these eyedrops can be purchases over-the-counter and often provide instant relief. Many people confuse the pain they feel while reading with eye-strain when it is in fact dry eye from unknowingly keeping their eyes open for an extended period.
Scanners/Handheld OCR/Object Recognition
- Read & Write
- Natural Reader
- For the most part, VoiceOver and NVDA should be able to read documentation to you, assuming they are accessible (properly OCR’d, captioned, formatted, etc.)
- VoiceDream Reader – Book-share books can be read with VoiceDream Reader