E-readers for the visually-impaired
December 4, 2012 7:08 AM Subscribe
Please help me pick the right e-reader for my visually-impaired boyfriend!
posted by anonymous to technology (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
So, my boyfriend is a very intelligent, well-read guy. He's also extremely visually-impaired (I believe he might be legally blind, but I'm not positive) and struggles with light sensitivity. His sight varies over the course of the day - sometimes he may not be able to read even the largest of zoomed-in text on a computer monitor, other times he can read the print in a regular-print-size book with only a little trouble. This means that as much as he'd sometimes *like* to read a book, it's often just not doable. It seems like an e-reader of some kind would be an ideal Christmas gift for him, since he could dynamically adjust the text size, but I'm not sure which reader would be best given his other requirements. Mefites, what's the best e-reader for someone who:
*Needs to be able to blow text up very large sometimes
*Would use it only for reading books - web, etc are not needed (the ability to look things up in an online dictionary, etc, would be fine, but not necessary. Ditto stuff like the ability to buy via reader from a bookstore). For the same reason, black-and-white-only screen would be just fine.
*Would mostly sideload books onto the reader, rather than buying them from Amazon, BN, etc. Is epub still the most useful standard for this?
*Has sensitivity to light (is a backlit LCD screen going to be a problem? or would having to turn on an overhead light to read e-ink be worse?)
*Is, er, not the most coordinated person in the world. A device that won't shatter to pieces if dropped or knocked around would be awesome, though I know all e-readers are going to have limitations on this, because screens and stuff
*Wears thick glasses, often accompanied by polarized sunglasses (I have no idea if this matters - do different screen types interact differently with glasses?)
We are in the US and not committed to any brand names - if there's a cheap, reliable off-brand reader that fits these criteria, that's as fine by us as if it has to be "Kindle or nothing", but I'm willing to spend a bit more for something that's not going to disintegrate or be obsolete within a year. Price point is ideally under $75, but up to $100 or so.
(anonymous because boyfriend knows about my Mefi addiction and may look in on me here)