Back to School Tips for Students with Low Vision

General Low Vision News
August 26, 2020

Back to school season in September represents something different to each person. For those who live with legal blindness for example, school can represent a set of new challenges. But whether you’re excited or worried to be returning to school again, after reading this blog designed specifically for students with low vision, you will be well on your way to succeeding academically this year.

How to Use eSight in the Classroom

Many low vision students choose to get an eSight to aid them in their studies, because of its wireless design for easy mobility, comfort for all-day wearability, superior visual acuity for studying and note-taking, and long-lasting batteries. 

eSight 4, assistive technology solution for students with low vision

For these students, eSight 4 can be helpful in the classroom in many different ways. 

See the board clearly

eSight allows you to zoom up to 24X, and further adjust your vision with features like contrast, focus, and brightness. This way, you can easily see anything written on the board at the front of the class, even if you’re sitting all the way at the back.

Take notes with ease

eSight 4 is completely wireless, which means you never have to worry about juggling your vision with your comfort. It is easy to look up and then switch back to looking at your notes, especially with built-in controls that allow you to zoom in with just the swipe of your finger.

Low vision student using eSight to read his textbook

Use it in every class

eSight comes with two batteries that each hold up to three hours of charge, meaning that you can use the device for your entire school day. With eSight’s new easy-swap battery design, the device no longer turns off when you take the batteries out and there is no wrong way to put the batteries in, which means it only takes seconds to get back to taking notes.

Meet new friends

eSight’s classic bioptic tilt technology means you can easily tilt up the device to switch to your natural vision and connect with your classmates face-to-face. Then, when you need to do your work again, you can just tilt it back down to experience enhanced vision.

student with low vision using eSight during a group project

Scholarships for Students with Low Vision

There are many scholarships available only for students with low vision. Here are just a few that you can consider applying to:

  • American Council of the Blind: awards students with scholarships to help with post-secondary education financial needs such as tuition, fees, room and board and other additional costs associated with adaptive technology. Due February 15, 2021.
  • Association for Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired: educational scholarships for individuals continuing their education in the field of providing services to the blind and visually impaired. Applications open early 2022.
  • Lighthouse Guild: offers scholarships for students with vision loss that help them make a successful transition to college and graduate education. Due March 31, 2021.
  • disABLEDperson Inc: awards $2,000 for college students with disabilities. Due October 14, 2020.

Accessible Apps for your Phone

App developers may not always have accessibility in mind when designing their apps, which can be a barrier for many students who live with low vision. Here is a list of free and completely accessible apps to help you succeed in your academic endeavours.

AccessNote (iOs)

From the American Foundation for the Blind, AccessNote is designed particularly for VoiceOver users looking for a highly efficient, feature-rich note taking experience. AccessNote will allow users to combine efficient note taking with the countless other features and functions of the iOS devices. 

DragonAnywhere (iOs or Android)

DragonAnywhere allows users to dictate documents of any length, easily edit and adjust formatting, and quickly share them on the most popular cloud-sharing services.

Alarmed: Reminders and Timers (iOs)

This app is fully accessible with VoiceOver, and is a fantastic tool for organisation. It includes a notes area with reminders, a repeating alarm feature, a snooze option and a multi-use timer.

Learning Ally (iOs)

Learning Ally has a library of human-read audiobooks, including bestsellers, classic literature and textbooks. There are also interactive learning tools including speed control, bookmarking, highlighting, and note-taking.

Did you enjoy reading back to school tips for students with low vision? Read more here about Sam Seavey’s favourite assistive apps.