Initially after diagnosis, I was still able to read my daugther bedtime stories providing I had sufficent light and large text. Over time this became more of a struggle, and I started to look for options to read to kids. In 2020, I received an OrCam MyEye 2 for my work through the access to work scheme. The OrCam MyEye 2 fits to your glasses and reads the text off the page into your ear. It is a fantastic device and works well in good light with consistent fonts. Sadly, many of the books for kids have words enlarged and out of place.
The MyEye 2 has been superseded by the MyEye Smart and MyEye Pro with voice assistant. If you are interested in the device, I would highly recommend reaching out to VisionAid who worked with me to ensure I found the right product for me. For more details on the OrCam My Eye Smart and it’s price on the VisionAid OrCam My Eye Smart product page.
Read to Kids with Pickatale
I then stumpled across an app called Pickatale. The app has a library of books to cover a range of ages. Pickatale update the library regularly and include titles from Disney and Marvel. Pickatale is more than just a digital copy of books. Each book provides the ability to press words and have them read out alout. It also has a read aloud option, this reads the book while highlighting the words on the page. Touching on pictures in the book, will announce the content of them.
My kids loved the app with hundreds of titles and the ability for them to go a read/listen at any time from their iPads. For me it has changed the bedtime routine, allowing me to consentrate on snuggling with the kids while the book is read to them. In addition, reading is tracked for each child, allowing review of their progress and visability of how long they read.
Pickatale App Accessibility
The app is not fully accessible with voice over on IOS, so is only suitable for low vision users or users with kids who can navigate the app. I have requested that the developer look at making the app accessible for visually impaired.
Pickatale App Pricing
Pickatale is a monthly subscription and available via the app store and play store but be aware that the cost is higher than signing up directly via the Pickatale website. Originally, I subscribed to the app via the Apple app store choosing to buy a year’s access to save money. On renewal, I found that if I take out a new account direct with Pickatale, I can pay monthly for just under the annual cost. At time of writing, the cost is just £4 per month.
Check out other articles from the Living with Sight Loss category
Tell me what you think in the comments below or on twitter @timdixon82