Life Living with Sight Loss

Sight Loss Tip: How Do You Read to Kids When Blind

Reading to your kids is one of the parenting pleasures parents take for granted. So, how do you read to kids when you are blind?

In the Sight Loss Tip: How to Read to Kids article I posted some time ago, I covered the techniques I used for reading to my kids. After posting it on Mastodon recently, Sarah Matthews reached out to let me know about a technique she had picked up from other VI parents, which is too good not to share.

With kids’ books often having unsual fonts and poor colour contrast, and being read in dimmed rooms, it is hard to use apps to OCR the text. The solution many parents are using, is the PenFriend.

As a visually impaired parent, you can put a PenFriend label on each page of the book and find someone who can read the text on each page to record it. When it’s time for bedtime can use the PenFriend to scan the label. It will read the text to you through headphones, and you can repeat it to your child.

The PenFriend is available from RNIB in the UK: RNIB Penfriend 3 Audio Labeller | RNIB

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By Tim Dixon

Tim Dixon has worked in IT for over 20 years, specifically within the Testing Inspection and Certification industry. Tim has Cone Dystrophy, a progressive sight loss condition that impacts his central vision, colour perception and makes him sensitive to light. He likes to share his experience of life and how he navigates the abyss of uncertainty.

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