Couple Reading together
Making Adjustments

Read To Me

May 31, 2023

Read To Me

Almost any degree of vision loss makes reading a challenge. It doesn’t take long to realize just how much is dependent on our ability to see. The reading of books requires significant adjustment. I can vividly recall the last few print books I was able to consume with my eyes, twenty years ago. The words were slowly fading away and there were no glasses, magnifiers or reading machines that provided an equitable replacement. Over time audiobooks were embraced and more reading options became possible through mobile technologies.

Considering all the compensatory strategies implemented over the years, I was pretty sure I had it covered. That is until my partner, Neil, said he would like to read books to me. There wasn’t actually a day that went by when he wasn’t already reading something to me, like news articles, restaurant menus, movie reviews and cooking directions. But now we were reading best selling novels together. It is the sweetest, most loving gift, and you don’t have to be visually impaired to appreciate it. He happens to be a skilled reader and approaches the task with ease. I can ask him to pause, repeat, or search a definition. There is no set schedule, we fit in a chapter or two, here and there, on a regular basis. A book club built for two, we summarize, question, laugh and cry together as the story unfolds. We love to predict what is coming and how the book will end. This is definitely my favorite new / old mode of reading. I recommend it to everyone, it’s a beautiful experience.

Do consider creating your own personal book club, but don’t forget the many ways technology makes reading accessible again. Yes, it’s different, but so good!

Smiling red haired woman listens to audible content
Smiling red haired woman listens to audible content

Here are links to 10 of our favorite OE articles on the subject.

Try a New Approach to Menu Reading

Smartphone Barcode Readers Help Visually Impaired People

Click Listen and OE Reads to You

Alexa, Read My Book

Get Back the Joy of Reading with NLS

Let iPhone’s VoiceOver Do the Reading

Audiobook Narrators are a Personal Preference

The Freedom of Speech

Audio Description is the Visual Voice

Descriptive Audio Brings Back the Detail

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About the Author: Dorrie Rush

Dorrie Rush is the Chief Content Officer and Visual Accessibility Expert at Ophthalmic Edge Patients (OE Patients), an online resource, presented by the Association for Macular Diseases, providing practical information and empowering advice for living a full and successful life with vision loss.

She is the former Director of the Grunwald Technology Center and Information Resource Service at Lighthouse International 2001 to 2016. Dorrie is known to have an eccentric view, which is particularly useful in compensating for her central vision loss from Stargardt Disease.



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