Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Virtual Magnifier and Lightspeed Assisted Listening: The Eyes and Ears of Assistive Technology

Yesterday Was "Eyes and Ears" Day:
I had a chance to visit an elementary classroom today and ask a fourth grade boy what he would like to try in a piece of amplification equipment in the classroom. He was excited to try a personal FM system by Lightspeed (an Oregon Company by the way) that has a little cube speaker that can sit on his desk. The teacher had been trying out a classroom system with a big speaker for the whole room. If it were me as a student, I would feel funny about the entire class listening to the teacher through a wireless microphone just for me. The student is excited to try this small custom piece of equipment just for him.

I was able to hook up a high school computer teacher with a cool FREE tool that is open source for the visually impaired. It is the "Virtual Magnifying Glass" which is an on-screen magnifier. It can be downloaded HERE. You can drag it around, stretch and change it's size and increase/decrease the power of magnification.
It is very handy for ANYONE to use when teaching a class or presenting in a large room. When your laptop is hooked to a data projector and it is shining on the screen, you can click on the magnifier icon and slide it up and magnify details of an image, data base, etc. so everyone can see in the back of the room. I love it.

All the best to you!