The Best E-Reader for Macular Degeneration Patients

ithe best tablet for macular degenerationMacular degeneration causes damage to central vision which can make looking at small print books and magazines a real challenge. And for those who have spent the majority of their lives reading the daily paper, suddenly being unable to do so can be quite distressing. But while reading can be challenging for AMD sufferers, it is not impossible. In fact, there are plenty of vision aids including e-readers that can help individuals with low vision read more easily.

Electronic devices such as tablets and e-readers are great tools for those with AMD. Studies have shown that digital tablets help boost reading speed in people who have the degenerative eye disease. If you’re looking to buy a tablet for a loved one with AMD, or looking to purchase one for yourself, the following is a list of “low vision” considerations to keep in mind while shopping:

Screen size: It sounds obvious, but be sure to note which tablet/e-reader has the largest screen. For example, the original Kindle has a 6 inch screen while the Kindle DX has a 9.7 inch screen.

Adjustable light/contrast: Most tablets and e-readers have built-in lighting which adds that all-important contrast necessary for those with AMD. Also, opt for a new model if possible! Many new devices, (like the Kindle Paperwhite) have 25% more contrast than older models. Great contrast ensures that text appears sharper and darker.

Font magnification: One of the most convenient features about an e-reader or tablet is the ability to enlarge font size. As many AMD patients know, font size can make a substantial difference in the quality of reading. A quality tablet may even make using a magnifier for reading obsolete! Some devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy and Apple Ipad, offer zoom text; simply pinch or expand your fingers on text to enlarge it to any size.

E-Ink: Some devices use a special “e-ink” technology that copies regular print on paper. This prevents  a lot of the eye fatigue that computer screens cause. It also makes it easier for AMD patients to spend more time enjoying a good read.

Anti-glare screen: For those with low vision, glare can be very irritating and uncomfortable. Some devices are better at controlling glare than others, so choose wisely. Alternatively, it is possible to find anti-glare film to stick over your screen to help reduce glare, but results with this tend to vary.

Simple navigation: Simple navigation is extremely important when considering which device may be best. Some devices use a touch screen while others have small buttons. If you’ll be using the device primarily for reading, ensure you purchase one that offers touch navigation. Hard to see buttons can make turning pages more of a challenge. However, some find that buttons have the advantage of feel and reliable response for less steady fingers. It’s also argued that touch screens demand adequate vision and better manual skills.

Deciding which e-reader/tablet is right for you can be confusing as there are many different models on the market today. So, before making a purchase, be sure to spend time testing each product out in the store. If possible, take the device outside to examine how it handles glare.

There is no surefire way to restore lost vision, but there is plenty of technology available to help make life with low vision less complicated.

What type of tablet/e-reader do you use? Would you consider buying it for someone with AMD? Share your suggestions and thoughts with us!

http://www.webrn-maculardegeneration.com/e-book-reader.html

78 thoughts on “The Best E-Reader for Macular Degeneration Patients

  1. Great tips! I need an e-reader which doesn’t yet exist. One which is soothing on the eyes like a Kindle, yet responsive and colorful like an iPad (have both). Suggestions welcome!

    1. Lila,

      We’re glad you liked the tips! Which do you prefer overall– the Kindle or the Ipad? How about for everyday uses like writing, reading and surfing the net? What else do you look for in an e-reader (other than what was mentioned) ?

    2. i have tried many tablets sent them all back hurt my eyes i like to read for hours !! i am back to my 6 inch kindle e-ink no fatigue on the eyes , and i have the larger one, the kindle DX which i love but when i travel it is heavy . so i too am looking for larger one with e-ink that is lighter. I really do not care for the lighter screens, i tried the paperwhite and didn’t think it got grey enough for my eyes . i want and need big text and a bigger model the only thing i haven’t looked at is some other models other than kindle . they are great about there policy’s and customer service ..

      1. Hi Deb– What about wearing BluTech lenses whilst you use your iPad? They are extremely soothing and allow me to be on the computer for very long periods of time. Thoughts?

        1. WELL I ALREADY WEAR GLASSES AND I OWN COCOONS SUNGLASSES THAT STOP THE BLUE SUN RAYS AND EVEN WITH THEM WHEN I AM RIDING IN THE BUS I HAVE A HARD TIME THEN OF MAKING OUT WORDS BECAUSE THEY ARE TOO DARK LOL CANT WIN FOR LOSING
          SO I AM GOING TO HOLD ON TO MY SMALL E-INK AND PRAY THAT THEY COME OUT WITH A LARGE ONE . BUT THAT WOULDN’T WORK FOR ME AS IS I WAS VERY HAPPY WITH THE SUN GLASSES. I WAS VERY HAPPY TO FIND THEM MADE FOR OVER PRESENT GLASSES . JUST TRIED MY SUNGLASSES WITH THIS PAGE AND LIKE I SAID IT MAKES IT GREY BUT WITH THE E-INK I SEEM TO HAVE AT LEAST MORE CONTRAST THAN WITH THE SUNGLASSES ON LOOKING AT SCREEN .OH HERE IS THE LINK TO COCOONS SIGHT WHICH EXPLAINS THE DIFFERENT LIGHT RAYS THERE ARE SO YOU CAN CHOOSE THE ONE YOU NEED OR EVEN GET SOME INFO..WAS VERY INFORMATIVE AND SIMPLE TO UNDERSTAND FOR ME
          THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT ONES .WELL IF ANY ONE FINDS OUT EXACTLY WHAT THERE IS OUT THERE IN AN EBOOK READER THAT IS A LITTLE BIT BIGGER AND WONT FATIGUE THE EYES PLEASE LET ME KNOW , GETTING HARD WITH THE ONE EYE AND JUST SO MAY WORDS ON PAGE .
          OPPS SRY ABOUT THE CAPS
          http://www.cocoonseyewear.com/lenses/

          1. THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVELY MESSAGE. ITS GREAT TO READ SOMEONES REAL LIFE EXPERIENCE AND ALTHOUGH I STILL AM NOT A USER OF AN E BOOK I AM RESEARCHING ONE FOR MY MOTHER. SHE IS AN AMAZING WOMAN WHO RECENTLY HAS DEVELOPED AMD. AS AN AVID READER THIS IS VERY DISTRESSING BUT SHE DOESNT COMPLAIN. I WOULD LOVE TO BE ABLE TO BUY A SUITABLE E BOOK SO IF ANYONE OUT THERE KNOWS ALL ANSWERS WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.

  2. The new Kindle Paperwhite is a big improvement from the original black and white Kindle. If you only want to use it to read books, the improved contrast without glare makes it an ideal electronic book reader. If you enjoy reading magazines on an e-book reader, then choose one with a color screen like the iPad or the Kindle Fire. The vivid colors on these screens are amazing.

    1. Leslie,

      Thanks for your input. Vivid colours are so important. It’s true that the new Kindle Paperwhite is a huge improvement! I think it just goes to show that the future for technology for AMD patients– is bright. I’m interested to learn what is next in line.

  3. Is there something available for someone to write a check but she cannot write , like
    something where she could write on and it would transfer this on to her cheque, she has
    the wet mad and of course it would have to make the font big so she would be able
    to write were she is supposed to do it. Maybe I am grasping for a straw but she is a sweet
    88 year lady. Can someone write to me .
    Thks Renate Saua renatems@telus.net

    1. Hi Renate. Great question. Try folding the paper along the line that she is supposed to sign on. That way she can simply feel for the correct spot. Also, some blind people use something called a signature guide, which is a small piece of metal or plastic with a horizontal slot cut into it. A sighted person places the guide on the paper where the person should sign to help keep the signature straight.. You could also opt to help her get a signature stamp made. I’m glad to send you an e-mail so that we can discuss this further, Renate! Thanks for reading.

      1. Choose a larger-tip writing pen such as a 20/20 Pen.
        This pen is extra wide with bold, blank ink which makes it easier to see what you are writing.
        You can find them at office supply stores.

    2. go to maxi aides i got a sheet that has the places where everything needs to be written out the bank she uses may even have one ..good luck

  4. I’m helping my 80 mother with AMD (can still read books) buy a tablet primarily for reading material rather than direct internet work. (She has a laptop) Any specific brand/type recommended from anyone? Thanks!

    1. Hi Delia,

      The new Kindle Paperwhite could be exactly what you’re looking for. It has excellent contrast without glare and it’s proving to really helps folks with low vision read more comfortably. (It’s especially perfect if your mother is only planning on using it for reading!) Let us know what you decide on!

      1. Thanks so much for the feedback. My mom and I did look at one today. She can still read most books (other than small paperback) – isn’t even reading large print yet, and really prefers using the library and the physical-ness of books. I thought that this would be a good way to get used to the technology and allow her to read some magazines that have gotten harder to see. I’m used to an ipad and neither of us realized this is black and white – so the mag reading really wouldn’t be as good. She also didn’t like the smallness of the screen (even compared to an ipad or Kindle Fire). It seems to me, given all of our aging and the numbers of folks with AMD that at some point perhaps technology may drive a tablet that really hits the needs of this unique vision challenge. Anyway, to make a long story short – we decided to forego a purchase now. This blog is a great help…thanks.

        1. You’re very welcome, Delia! I’m glad you and your mother had a look at what’s available.. If screen size is important to her, have a look at the new Windows 18-inch tablet PC.. Keep us updated on your mom’s progress!

  5. I have AMD and found it much easier to read white text on a black background, especially at night. I tried to look online to see if the new Kindle Paperwhite had this capability, but didn’t find an answer. Does anyone know if the background and font colors can be switched?

    I have seen a Nexus 7 tablet that has this capability.

    1. Hi Sue. Good question. I don’t think the Paperwhite has that capability unless you highlight text.. However, I happen to know for sure that the iPad has this option. If you find out whether your Paperwhite has this ability- be sure to let us know!

  6. I am 55 and have wet AMD. I am a very avid reader. I started out with a standard Kendall, but got to where without being back lit, I couldn’t see it. Now I read on a Ipad with a Kendall app. (I also like to surf the web and play a few games). I like that I can enlarge the fonts and even change text colors, etc. I will probably never go back to a Kendall unless it is one of the bigger Kendall Fire’s. I would be very depressed if I could no longer read, and I rely on technology to allow me to continue.

    1. I so agree with Carol. I have wet AMD in one eye and advanced dry AMD in the other. I was given an iPad 2 by family several years ago and it has a Kindle app. Best gift I ever received. I use a sepia background when reading from Kindle. Wonderful as well for sending e-mails and surfing the net when away from the computer..

      1. Anne! So interesting re: the Sepia background. Happy to hear you’re having success using it. Any other tips for our readers when it comes to using tablets :) Thanks for reading!

  7. Thought I’d give an update about my Mom and her reading. She did recently purchase a DX size Kindle. The larger DX size is critical. It has been a hit and as she had been struggling to read normal sized print (she was unhappy not to hold a “real book” which delayed us doing this) she can’t believe how much easier it is to read now. The limitations of this for low vision use is the small size of the keypad for more extensive functions; plus purchasing directly from the kindle is hard as the icons and such are small. However, for most use these aren’t needed. We have found that she can easily do one-click ordering of books from Amazon on her computer. Downloading library books is not one click (and needs to first go thru her computer) and I am working on teaching her that, but am doing it weekly now for her. (She is an incredibly voracious reader). A low vision specialist suggested to her not to get a tablet reader as even though it’s backlit, it would cause more eye fatigue for people who read a lot. She solves the light need by still reading with her high quality reading light.

    1. Hi Delia,

      Thanks for the update on your mom! It’s always helpful to hear what’s helpful and what’s less helpful when it comes to low vision devices. Hope she continues to find improvements in her new DX Kindle! Happy holidays to both of you.

  8. This discussion is of great interest as my mother has just been told after many years of treatment for wet macular degeneration that the dry has now taken over and there is no more treatment. However, Mum is an avid reader and is struggling to read large print books, I have to choose books from the library for their print clarity rather than the content, makes for some interesting choices. I have borrowed a Kindle for her but of course the problem is, that she has never used a computer at age 90, and is not really able to use the navigation. As I do not live close by, it would be frustrating for her to finish a book and not be able to move onto another book. Surely the people who make these items must think about people who are partially sighted, the ability to enlarge the font makes one think so, and then they make the navigation so tiny that even a sighted person struggles to see it.
    What to do? I am going to talk to all my friends who have these devices to see if we can come up with a solution. Here’s hoping and I will check back to see if anyone has the solution to this problem

    1. Hi Mary,

      Did you know that text to speech is available for Kindle users. Perhaps you can try putting different tactile feels on each button your mother is to press in order to find a new book? You can always save certain searches in the book store too. For instance if your mother likes ‘Mark Twain’, you can already have that written for her prior. What do you think of these suggestions? Let us know how your mother is faring.

      1. Hi Mary. I too keep waiting for improvements to make it easier, both to see the keys and perhaps one button options. I’ve written before and my Mom reads avidly on her DX kindle but she does get mixed up on things and if I didn’t live close it would be difficult. We have stopped getting library borrows as you have only 7 days and she can’t quite remember the more complicated download. It’s also difficult to keep track of which are borrows. One thing I do is sometimes order books (look for monthly and daily specials) from her list distantly, and remind her it automatically syncs. If you wrote down just a few commands and covered each of those buttons with colored tape she might be able to do it. Mom is loving that she can get a just published book without waiting for large print at the library. On a related note, with some progession of her wet AMD we are now investigating connecting her laptop to large TV (less expensive than monitor) for her email and computer work…if anyone has feedback. Thanks for this forum.

        1. Delia- thanks for the update on your mother.. What about audio books? Would she be interested? We know some ways to get a huge selection of novels for free. Would your mother be interested in turning to audio books?

          1. I too would be interested in audiobooks, as well as a computer monitor which doesn’t hurt my eyes.

            E-ink, as on some of the Kindles, is wonderful, but I still must read quite a bit on a computer screen for work. Are some television monitors (which can become computer monitors, if equipped) better suited for this purpose? If so, which ones?

            Thanks!

          2. I get audiobooks thru the local library for my mother and will need to in a few years for myself as I also have been diagnosed with dry macular. i live in Kentucky and all I had to do was get my doctor’s signature on a document that I got at the library (talk to your librarian) stating that I am vision impaired. It is a free service here thru the state. You can either receive a catalog of available books or do it online. Can download books to your own jump drive from your computer or they send you a machine free of charge that reads their digital books that they send you in the mail and you can keep them as long as you need to to finish them…you just can’t get anymore til you return what you have (yes you can have more than 1 at a time so you aren’t lacking reading material) You can even simply tell them what genres you like and they will automatically send you title if it is too hard for you to choose or have no one to help you. Can be frustrating if you like reading series in order they are printed but it is better than the alternative of not getting to read at all. I dislike the audio to voice on my kindle as there is no inflection or punctuation in the reading of the material.

          3. Sadly, Mom’s eyesight just recently worsened and she now cannot read. She does have audiobooks installed on her ipad thru the Audible App; but aspects are a little difficult to see – though would be easier if she had used it more when her vision was better. We just submitted paperwork for the Talking Books program (state of Oregon) which will be mailed to her at no cost. She is working on still creating her stories for her memoirs class by speaking them into the ipad notes app, and having a friend read them in the class. We don’t yet know if this is permanent and will be trying another drug (injection; she has run thru 3 now) – and will hope, but time will tell. I am also encouraging her to listen more to public radio, as there are of course terrific programs throughout the day and eve. The loss of reading is huge as many others on this blog are noting.

      2. Thanks for your comments, I do not think the audio is an option for my Mum as she is also deaf which makes it hard even though she has hearing aids, she has only about 24% hearing. But thanks for the idea about tactile feels, we will certainly do that. We are at the stage of borrowing an e- reader for her to try, and then I will take her to the store to have a look at the latest available readers. I have had a look myself and think that the Paperwhite or Kindle fire might be best for her but who knows if she can manage them. Will report back.
        Today I visited her and she was just sitting in her chair gazing out. So sad. Usually she has her nose in a book!

        1. Hi Mary-I know the exact feeling. In fact, my grandfather is almost fully deaf (despite hearing aids) and copes with AMD. Let me know how the e-reader trial goes!

          1. Today I took a borrowed Kindle to Mum to try. Sadly, she was unable to read it even with the font at the largest, and biggest line spacing. She said the words “fuzzed”.
            But I am not prepared to give up yet. On the way home I stopped at a friend’s place and compared the borrowed Kindle to a Kobo which was backlit, which seemed much better but then I can see well so who knows whether it suits someone with MD. Unfortunately the Kobo only seemed to have a moderately large font.
            Hopefully I can find another friend who has such a one for another trial.
            Will report back on this when it happens.

  9. Yes, thanks. She still really prefers reading versus audio, though knows she may need to eventually. For now she can still read large print and Kindle fine.

  10. So happy to find this website and conversation. Borrowing large print books from the libraries is an option, but most of the books are of no interest to my husband. We have an old Kindle but he could never get the hang of it, and now with his MD (especially bad in one eye) he can’t really even see the buttons. He’s also stubborn about learning and asking for help; and he finds it hard to remember to put on glasses after a lifetime of not wearing any. I’m going to go with the Paperwhite since we already have two Kindles (I have a Fire.) I will limit his Kindle to books only so he doesn’t have to fumble and press buttons that might disrupt his reading when I’m not home. If all he has to do is touch the screen it just might work.

    Do you know if I can preset the font, and set the light to go on automatically?

    1. Leora- not sure on the preset option. I wonder if any of our other readers know the answer to this question? Perhaps the tactile idea could work. He could simply learn a pattern of what ‘tactile’ feels to press until he reached his desired book :) Perhaps easier than it sounds, though?

  11. Not sure about paperwhite but the Kindle DX allows font to be preset (it doesn’t have back light but regular good reading light works for her). I’m finding that Mom can mostly use two main commands, with everything else preset. Mostly going between “home” page (which shows all your books) and the current book she is reading, though the toggle switch isn’t ideal. I remove the books from the device (even though they are still in cloud) after she has read them because it is hard to wade through all that may show up on home page. We have stopped getting library e-books as it’s a bit more complicated and with only 7 day borrowing times it was hard to tell which were up when. I am now ordering 4-5 books per week for her, sometimes with her, sometimes remotely (can be done remotely with automatic syncing if you access their amazon account) – especially looking for kindle monthly specials which run 1.99 often. I still think we really need someone to market an e-reader that is literally one button!

    1. Hi Delia! Thanks for this. Agree with you re: the e-reader one button. It can be hard enough for the non visually impaired to use some of these devices! Does your mother require the text to be as large as it can go? Also- it’s a great idea to just keep removing the books i feel. It’s likely much more convenient for your mother to simply select the top book or to only have 2-3 books on the device at once. Much less confusing that way!

    2. with most local libraries there is a option for 14 days, check it out they will show you how to do it as well . i have the wet and that’s how i found out :)
      what i am looking to see if any 7 or 8 inch e ink readers come out i find the 6 inch to small DX to heavy . i have tried the paper white and even though it has the back light the largest font is not that large ,so i returned it sigh t have a dream for the 7 or 8 inch e ink or a background like it .

      1. Hey Debbie! Thanks for reading our blog and for posting this very helpful comment! Agree that 6 inch is a little small. I would think in the future, larger versions will be available. In the mean time, what do you use?

        1. i read the 6 inch which frustrates me ..i tried the audio on it but i cant concentrate on the book !! i am one i guess that needs to be reading . i lost interest and who was who!! i also have the DX which is very heavy for this old lady !! i did read that the company e-ink is coming up with new models of the e-ink pearl screen that should be out the end of year . hopefully it wont be another 6 inch .this is where i read it at
          http://blog.the-ebook-reader.com/2014/06/07/video-tour-of-e-inks-booth-at-computex-2014/ i love this web site ..i am going off island tomarrow and going to look at the fire HDX and the i pad ..also read the 7 inch HDX is an reader ? any one have any info on that ?

  12. My mom is 78 years old and has wet macular degeneration. She tells us reading is so horribly difficult for her, she won’t be able to continue much longer. She likes to read the newspaper and several magazines. She is not at all technology literate, so something simple is needed. I am thinking a 7″ tablet would be too small for her and something that you can enlarge the font would be a must. Suggestions or recommendations would be most appreciated.

    1. Hey Cathy! Thanks for posting. Sorry to hear your mother is having difficulty. A kindle sounds like it could work for her. You can likely go to the store and request a trial period to find out which your mother prefers.. I suppose your mother does not want to resort to talking /audio books at this time?

    2. I got my husband a KINDLE Paperwhite a month ago. He loves it. It’s got a back light that is not hard on the eye(s) and I can set it and forget it. We also chose a fairly large,simple, bold type . (I do the shopping for books and the downloading–inexpensive and easy.) It’s very simple to use–very–although for those not used to computers it will take some getting used to. Still, if your mom is determined, like my husband is, she’ll learn the very few movements she’ll need to enjoy reading again. The KINDLE Paperwhite is also very light. And not too expensive. My husband will read for 4 or 5 hours straight if the book is good enough. I’m not kidding.
      Terrific purchase. Hope this helps.

  13. I am looking for a non glare reader. However I find that the big contrast between black and bright white can almost cause a glare effect on my eyes. I have noticed that a more muted background with dark print is better because there is not so much contrast (which after a while seems to make the letters almost dance on the page.) Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Ann. I’m interested to hear what others have to say about this… I can tell you that a friend once told me they use a ‘beige’ colour rather than white as it is less harsh. He has had good results with this.. Also- Have you thought about putting an anti-glare screen over your tablet? Have you done this already? it’s very helpful. Thanks for reading and keep us updated:)

  14. Hiu My mum has tunnel vision and im looking at purchasing a Kindle reader, please you you advise further. thanks

  15. Hi. My father had a bad stroke and has lost the use of his right side and vision in his right eye. He has always been an avid reader. Even more than being stuck in a wheel chair, losing his ability to hold onto and read a book has devastated him. I tried getting him audio books but he can’t get into them the same way. I don’t have an e-reader, so I’m not well versed in the technology. But we’re both convinced that the perfect one would solve his problem; he could hold it in one hand and backlight and enlarge the text. He’s never used a computer so he’d need one that’s easy to navigate and intuitive. Any suggestions anyone has would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    1. Hi Julie. It could be helpful to seek out a low vision therapist for advice. Otherwise, you could figure out the best tablet on your own (Try going to Future Shop or a place like it and asking if you can test out the e-readers) Find one that is an appropriate size and learn to use it yourself. Then, you could put tactile markers on all of the spots your father needs to press or touch to bring up his desired reading material. I personally like my Samsung Galaxy 2 and believe it is easy to use (for me,anyway) and good for reading.. Font can be enlarged almost as much as you want. Brightness/backlight are adjustable. Others seem to like the Kindle Fire, however. As I say, try going to a tech store and trying a few out? Let us know what you come up with/prefer!

  16. One thing I have found with my Mom’s Kindle DX is that if she goes a period without using it (she still reads large print books and prefers them) she forgets how to use the Kindle. I am very disappointed that new products haven’t been developed that have fewer and larger buttons and such. While it’s a good solution to a degree – like all technology it is better to learn how to use it before both losing significant sight or subtle memory. Any developers out there – get on it as you’ll do well in the marketplace!

    1. I, too, am looking for a “no-brainier” ereader. My mother cannot handle technology and all the ereaders seem to be moving to tablets. I need something without all the bells and whistles. She will never use the internet. I would download the books for her. I am trying now to retrofit an old iPad to become a simple ereader. There’s an untapped market here for a generation of readers who need the technology of an ereader without the technology getting in the way. What’s a daughter to do?

      1. Hi JT and welcome to the forum. I do agree with you that this is an untapped market. Have you had a look at the Kindle yet? Try going to your local tech store and giving the different tablets and e-readers a try prior to purchasing.

  17. Hello,
    I like the tips that you have given in the blog. I too think that macular degeneration causes damage to central vision which can make reading print books and magazines real challenge. E-readers are great tools for those with AMD. If you’re looking for such type of e-readers your search ends here!. Thanks for sharing

  18. In my “eighties” my AMD has progressed to the stage where I can no longer read my newspaper. a main past-time which I badly miss. Currently comparing various e-readers I cannot find an aid specifically intended for newspaper reading.
    After reading all of your interesting and helpful tips, I wonder if you could advise me with my problem ?
    many thanks.

  19. There are several low vision portable hand held magnifiers. A most reasonable magnifier for newspapers, magazines and mail is made by Freedom Scientific the Ruby HD or Pebble HD. There is also a website http://www.nanopac.com that’s insightful on finding what you need for vision needs.

  20. I heard a discussion on NPR today about a new app developed by an ophthalmologist that can be downloaded and adjusted for many sight issues, including AMD. Sadly, I can’t remember the name of the app nor can I find the info anywhere. Perhaps one of you can find it? I am interested because I teach at a community college and am very interested in studentaaccess. I will pass on any information to our student disability office.

  21. Just got diagnosed with AMD yesterday. Shocked and depressed for a day and now researching my options. I love to read (former English teacher) and use a Kindle, computer, etc A LOT during the day and night. I am confused about this blue light controversy and that it can tip off AMD. Dos anyone know anything about it and electronic uses. I did not ask the doctor as I was in shock when he gave me the news and could not think straight. They have these sheets to keep the blue light from being emitted. would appreciate any insights. Thank you!

  22. Thought I’d give an update on my Mom. 3 weeks ago we bought an Ipad (air). It has been awesome for her. I wish rather than buying the Kindle last year (which she uses) we had just gotten this. (Downloading of library books is way easier). She had begun to feel like using a computer for email and writing stories was just about out of reach, which is why we got the ipad. After lots of help, she wrote her own story using dictation by herself last week. Finding email app (and saving images of family); the Kindle app and the audible or other app for audio books all to be great. Uses the Notes app with dictation (but manually editing) to work well; plus dictation for email replies. Finally, she has discovered the Luminosity app for brain games and enjoying the challenges. My advice would be to get used to it sooner rather than later (she is 81) – find someone to tutor for short bits daily. I know there are other cheaper tablets – would just want to make sure the accessibility options for dictation and font sizes and magnification work as well as apple.

    1. Hi Delia! Thanks so much for the update. Sounds like the iPad Air is really working well for your mother. I love that it’s helping to keep her engaged, writing and being creative.. Keeping the brain active and thinking is so very important for low vision patients. I will certainly start recommending this device more often! Thanks again for your note!

    2. Hi Delia, I have a question as to how the kindle app works on the ipad. Are you able to enlarge the font, and brightness, and color (sepia, black on white, white on black) ? Is it simple ? I’m looking for a large ereader type, simple to use. My 80 yr old mother has amd and sjogrens. So her vision is very limited and she gets frustrated easily (and confused) with working the carousel(& everything else) on her kindle hd 7in. (Even though she’s had it a year and uses it every day for reading). She uses the TTS occasionally, but has problems operating it because the tap controls are so small she can’t see them. I live nearby, so I find and download her books from my computer. (she doesn’t have internet access and doesn’t intend to). She calls frequently for me to fix her kindle because she can’t find her books, her books disappeared, TTS is on super fast talk, etc.

      1. Hi Davy, To kind of answer your question – I recently put Mom’s kindle away in her desk drawer and jointly we have decided her to only use her Ipad for everything. (She was getting confused having two devices). She is really thrilled with the Ipad – though apprehensive at first. Please keep in mind that she has some short term memory challenges in addition to AMD, but by using it everyday she is really getting it. In answer to your question – I fully agree with how rotten the Kindle is for low vision. We had the same problems as to not finding books; getting mixed up as to where she was; etc. The ipad Kindle app is really easy to use. Things that make it so much easier – once you add the free app (and sync it with her/your amazon acct) you simply tap it to open; the library has the book icons that are large enough (at least for my Mom) to actually see what they are (versus the small titles on the home page of the kindle). Yes, you can change background (black, white, sepia) and font size. Depending on her vision I would check to see if the largest font size is large enough – it is for my Mom, but she can still read large print easily. (If you have an apple store near you it is really worth a visit). I bet you can change it with some adaptation, but haven’t done that. Though if you plan to use other aspects of Ipad the accessibility options are great for large print (emails; notes for writing or dictating). The best thing of all is that it is linked to your amazon account you have access to anything in your cloud, and syncing is super easy with any wireless – AND you can wirelessly add “library to go” app books ebooks from your local library for up to 3 week loan (again, getting library books on kindle is a pain). Another app from Amazon (audible) easily allows books on tape. I sound like a salesperson for Apple but this has added so much hope to my Mom. In ending, her favorite ipad activities are, 1) reading books on Kindle app; 2) dictating stories for her class on “notes”, 3) keeping up with emails and being able to easily add photo attachments of grandkids to her photo collection on ipad; 3) playing Luminocity; 4) knowing that if the time comes when reading is too hard that she has access to audible books. Finally, I have added inexpensive blue light filters to both our ipads. Though the science isn’t there yet on truly demonstrating ill harm of blue light wavelengths on retina and macula, it is easy to do this so we don’t later find out that we should have been doing it all along. I hope this helps..

  23. Sorry to change topic but I’m not having luck so posting here- would someone be able to provide suggestion for best TV for someone with wet macular degeneration? My 91 year old grandmother, who still goes to the gym btw, went to someone’s house, viewed the new high def TV and loved it. I can’t find any info on best TVs for her. I saw a mention of Samsung Smart TV. And also that LED is better than LCD. Grandkids are pooling money to buy so cost not as important — we would like the best. Thanks in advance for specific product suggestions.

  24. My Mum is almost 80 and has diabetic retinopathy. She wants to be able to read books or have talking books plus do emails and perhaps download photos. We thought it would be good for to use FaceTime or Skype or webcam. It needs to be easy to use and well lit.

    1. Hi Louise, thanks for your comment. The iPad is a great solution for the things your Mum wants to do. FaceTime is easy once you teach her how to use it and perhaps set up the contacts for her. The iPad is also well lit and there are controls for the brightness.

  25. My dad had a Optek Reader for macula. He used it for 3 years, any idea how to sell it for a reasonal amount. He really enjoyed it.

  26. My mother is 92 and is able to use the original kindle with the mechanical operation buttons. Touch screens are no good for her. She loves reading but is just finding that the largest font is too small. Already there are only 5 or 6 words to the screen but she doesn’t mind as long as she can go on reading. Kindle do not do a larger font than 24pt, does anyone know of an e-reader with a larger font, or is there a way to make the kindle font larger?

    1. Hi Penny! While I’m not entirely sure whether the Kindle is able to increase font size more than 24 pt, I would wonder if you’ve tried getting your mother some audiobooks from the library or Audible.com?

  27. Hello. My mother has had dry AMD for years and is getting ready to turn 80. She has asked for a tablet that will allow her access to Face Book. She doesn’t currently have it but would love to keep up with the family with it and to view pictures. She needs something very easy to use as she is not computer savvy and gets frustrated easily. I’m torn between the Kindle Fire 7 and the Ipad. Any suggestions? She does have a magnifier reader machine. Thanks!!

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