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Magnifying Devices: A Resource Guide

Introduction

Magnifying devices help people with low vision engage more easily in activities such as reading standard print, enjoying a hobby, or viewing a presentation by increasing the size of text and objects. Magnifiers come in many weights and styles. They may come on a stand or a headset, or be attached to a handle or a neck cord. Prices vary based on factors such as the material and strength of the lens and the type of illumination (if any).

This guide contains a brief description of different types of magnifiers, followed by addresses of sources where the devices can be purchased. Contact vendors directly for current prices and product specifications. Visit the websites of vendors to check for the availability of Internet specials, free demonstration software, and home trials.

Before buying a magnification device, you should consult a low-vision specialist for evaluation. A local vision-rehabilitation facility, such as a Lighthouse for the Blind, may offer information on available resources. Please consult the Selected Internet Resources section in this Reference Guide to find an organization that can help you. Websites that offer assistance to people with low vision are also included in that section.

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped does not distribute magnifying devices. The listing of companies does not imply endorsement.

Contents

Types of Magnifying Devices

Bar magnifiers provide magnification for one or two lines of type at a time, lie flat on the reading surface, and can be moved down the page as reading progresses. Many have feet to raise the magnifier a few inches above the material.

Binocular magnifiers are worn around the head, either alone or over prescription or safety eyeglasses, for close-up precision use. Some have features such as an adjustable headband or a flip-up frame to move the magnifier out of view.

Desktop Video Magnifiers are typically larger, non-portable devices that are placed on the surface of a table or desk and used to read the pages of a document. They come with a monitor that receives information from a camera trained on the object being magnified. Newer models come equipped with high-definition monitors, the ability to change color contrasts, and optical character recognition.

Dome magnifiers have a spherical shape that can lie flat on a small reading surface or can be held and used vertically for activities such as threading a needle or reading a thermometer.

Fresnel magnifiers come in a variety of sizes and are useful for viewing an extensive field of text, such as books, puzzles, maps, or a telephone directory. They may be framed or unframed and may be hand-held or attached to a stand that can sit on a table with an object underneath or be placed in front of a computer monitor.

Globe magnifiers. See Dome magnifiers.
Hand-held magnifiers are useful for spot tasks such as reading a label on a medicine bottle, checking a price tag, or consulting a map. Illuminated and non-illuminated models in round or rectangular shapes are available.

Magnifying lamps are available in a variety of models that feature different magnification levels, illumination levels, types of light bulbs, color of light emitted from the magnifier, size of the lens, and weight of the magnifier. A magnifying lamp is usually attached to a flexible arm that can be moved over the reading material.

Page magnifiers. See Fresnel magnifiers
Pendant magnifiers rest on the chest and are supported by adjustable cords around the neck. This allows both hands to be free to hold reading material or to work on sewing or other tasks. These come in illuminated and non-illuminated models.

Pocket magnifiers may be housed in hard plastic cases that slide or snap open and shut or housed in soft covers that can be used as a handle. They may come with two or more lenses that can be used singly or in combination, and are available in illuminated and non-illuminated models.

Portable video magnifiers are hand-held camera and screen devices that, in addition to magnifying an image, can also change contrasts, freeze images, and illuminate objects. Sizes and features vary.

Screen magnification software displays the information on a computer or television screen in a variety of magnifications. Some may be used with speech. The software programs are compatible with many computer applications. Some programs offer free trial versions to download.

Stand magnifiers are set in holders that are attached to small legs or other supports. They sit above the page in a frame that is fixed or at a tilt so it automatically maintains a consistent distance from the reading material and remains in focus, even if the user has unsteady hands or tremors. These come in illuminated and non-illuminated models.

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Addresses of Sources

Access Ingenuity
4751 Hoen Ave.
Santa Rosa, CA 95405
(707) 579-4380
877-579-4380 toll-free
(707) 579-4273 fax
[email protected]
www.accessingenuity.com External
Portable and desktop video magnifiers, screen-magnification software.

Ai Squared
130 Taconic Business Park Rd.
Manchester Center, VT 05255
(802) 362-3612
800-859-0270 toll-free
(802) 362-1670 fax
[email protected]
[email protected]
www.aisquared.com External
Portable video magnifiers, screen-magnification software.

American Printing House for the Blind
1839 Frankfort Ave.
Louisville, KY 40206
(502) 895-2405
800-223-1839 toll-free
(502) 899-2284 fax
[email protected]
www.aph.org External
Desktop video magnifiers, screen-magnification software, portable video magnifiers.

Bausch & Lomb
800-553-5340 toll-free
www.bausch.com External
Bar magnifiers.

Bernell
(574) 259-2070
800-348-2225 toll-free
(574) 259-2102 fax
www.bernell.com External
Bar magnifiers, binoculars, hand-held magnifiers, pendant magnifiers, Fresnel magnifiers, stand magnifiers.

Beyond Sight, Inc.
5650 South Windermere St.
Littleton, CO 80120
(303) 795-6455
(303) 795-6425 fax
www.beyondsight.com External
Bar magnifiers, dome magnifiers, page magnifiers, hand-held magnifiers, magnifying lamps, portable and desktop video magnifiers, screen-magnification software, stand magnifiers.

Bierley Associates, Inc.
19500 Graystone Ln.
San Jose, CA 95120
800-985-0535 toll-free
[email protected]
bierley.com External
Portable and desktop video magnifiers.

Carolyn’s Low Vision Products
800-648-2266 toll-free
[email protected]
www.carolynscatalog.com External
Binoculars, hand-held magnifiers, magnifying lamps, portable and desktop video magnifiers.

Chicago Lighthouse for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
Tools for Living Store
1850 W. Roosevelt Rd.
Chicago, IL 60608-1298
(312) 997-3683
800-919-3375 toll-free
[email protected]
http://chicagolighthouse.3dcartstores.com External
Magnifying lamps, portable and desktop video magnifiers, screen-magnification software.

C Tech Low Vision Products
2 N. William St.
Pearl River, NY 10965
(845) 735-7907
800-228-7798 toll-free
(845) 735-0513 fax
shop.ctechlowvision.com/main.sc/ External
Portable and desktop video magnifiers, screen-magnification software.

Dazor Manufacturing Corporation
430 Industrial Dr.
Maryland Heights, MO 63043
(314) 652-2400
800-345-9103 toll-free
(314) 652-2069 fax
[email protected]
www.dazor.com External
Magnifying lamps, desktop video magnifiers.

Enhanced Vision
5882 Machine Dr.
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
(714) 374-1829
888-811-3161 toll-free
(714) 374-1821 fax
[email protected]
www.enhancedvision.com External
Portable and desktop video magnifiers.

Envision Technology, Inc.
4948 St. Elmo Ave., Ste. 303
Bethesda, Maryland 20814
(301) 654-3568
800-582-5051 toll-free
(301) 652-1761 fax
[email protected]
www.envisiontechnology.org External
Portable and desktop video magnifiers, screen-magnification software.

Eschenbach Optik of America
22 Shelter Rock Ln.
Danbury, CT 06810
800-487-5389 toll-free
888-799-7200 toll-free fax
[email protected]
www.eschenbach.com External
Bar magnifiers, binoculars, hand-held magnifiers, pendant magnifiers, pocket magnifiers, portable and desktop video magnifiers, stand magnifiers.

Florida Reading and Vision Technology at the Lighthouse of Brevard
2880 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Ste. 104
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
800-981-5119 toll-free
(954) 462-4647 fax
[email protected]
www.floridareading.com External
Bar magnifiers, dome magnifiers, hand-held magnifiers, magnifying lamps, pendant magnifiers, pocket magnifiers, portable and desktop video magnifiers, screen-magnification software.

Freedom Scientific
Blind/Low Vision Group
11800 Thirty-First Ct. N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33716
(727) 803-8000
800-444-4443 toll-free
(727) 803-8001 fax
[email protected]
www.freedomscientific.com External
Portable and desktop video magnifiers, screen-magnification software.

Hear-More
42 Executive Blvd.
Farmingdale, NY 11735
800-881-4327 toll-free
(631) 752-0689 fax
(631) 752-1145 video-phone
[email protected]
www.hearmore.com External
Bar magnifiers, binoculars, desktop magnifiers, dome magnifiers, Fresnel magnifiers, handheld magnifiers, portable video magnifiers, stand magnifiers, magnification software.

HIMS, Inc.
4616 W. Howard Ln., Ste. 960
Austin, TX 78728
888-520-4467 toll-free
(512) 837-2011 fax
[email protected]
www.hims-inc.com External
Portable and desktop video magnifiers.

HumanWare
1 UPS Way
PO Box 800
Champlain, NY 12919
800-722-3393 toll-free
888-871-4828 toll-free fax
[email protected]
www.humanware.com External
Portable and desktop video magnifiers.

Independent Living Aids, LLC
137 Rano Rd.
Buffalo, NY 14207
800-537-2118 toll-free
855-746-7452 toll-free
855-937-3906 toll-free fax
[email protected]
www.independentliving.com External
Bar magnifiers, binoculars, dome magnifiers, Fresnel magnifiers, hand-held magnifiers, pendant magnifiers, pocket magnifiers, portable and desktop video magnifiers, screen-magnification software, stand magnifiers.

Lighthouse for the Blind Visual Aids Store
123 State St.
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504) 899-4501
888-792-0163 toll-free
[email protected]
http://lighthouselouisiana.org/Visual-Aids-Store External
Bar magnifiers, binoculars, hand-held magnifiers, pendant magnifiers, portable and desktop video magnifiers, stand magnifiers.

Lighthouse International
The Sol and Lillian Goldman Building
111 E. Fifty-Ninth St.
New York, NY 10022
(212) 821-9384
800-829-0500 toll-free
www.lighthouseguild.org/programs-services/store/ External
Portable and desktop video magnifiers, stand magnifiers.

Lighting Specialties Company
735 Hastings Ln.
Buffalo Grove, IL 60089-6906
(847) 215-2000
800-214-4522 toll-free
(847) 215-2002 fax
[email protected]
www.lightingspecialties.com External
Magnifying lamps.

The Low Vision Store
300 NE 117th Ave.
Vancouver WA 98684
888-216-1912 toll-free
(360) 254-3892 fax
[email protected]
www.thelowvisionstore.net External
Binoculars, hand-held magnifiers, portable and desktop video magnifiers, screen-magnification software.

LS&S, LLC
145 River Rock Dr.
Buffalo, NY 14207
(716) 3483500
800-468-4789 toll-free
866-317-8533 toll-free TTY
877-498-1482 toll-free fax
www.lssproducts.com External
Bar magnifiers, binoculars, dome magnifiers, Fresnel magnifiers, hand-held magnifiers, magnifying lamps, pendant magnifiers, pocket magnifiers, portable and desktop video magnifiers, screen-magnification software, stand magnifiers.

Magnifier.com
2181 N. Powerline Rd.
Pompano Beach, FL 33069
800-779-2801 toll-free
(954) 973-3951 fax
[email protected]
www.magnifier.com External
Bar magnifiers, binoculars, dome magnifiers, Fresnel magnifiers, hand-held magnifiers, monoculars, stand magnifiers.

Magnifiers & More
7775 Mentor Ave.
Mentor, OH 44060
(440) 946-3363
(440) 946-8899 fax
[email protected]
www.magnifiersandmore.net External
Bar magnifiers, binoculars, dome magnifiers, Fresnel magnifiers, hand-held magnifiers, pendant magnifiers, pocket magnifiers, stand magnifiers.

Magnifying Aids
4760 E. Bay Dr., Ste. E
Clearwater, FL 33764
(727) 526-2020
866-691-2450 toll-free
(727) 531-7224 fax
[email protected]
www.magnifyingaids.com External
Bar magnifiers, binoculars, dome magnifiers, hand-held magnifiers, portable and desktop video magnifiers, magnifying lamps.

Magnifying America
2129 SW Hwy. 484
Ocala, FL 34473
800-364-1610 toll-free
(352) 307-6614 fax
[email protected]
www.magnifyingcenter.com External
Binoculars, hand-held magnifiers, magnifying lamps, portable and desktop video magnifiers.

MagniSight, Inc.
951 E. Fillmore St.
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
800-753-4767 toll-free
(719) 578-9887 fax
[email protected]
www.magnisight.com External
Desktop video magnifiers.

Mattingly Low Vision
135 Rio West Dr., Bldg. B
El Paso, TX 79932
(915) 585-2558
888-642-0842 toll-free
(915) 858-2541 fax
866-958-8777 toll-free fax
[email protected]
www.mattinglylowvision.com External
Dome magnifiers, hand-held magnifiers, portable and desktop video magnifiers, stand magnifiers.

Maxi-Aids
42 Executive Blvd.
Farmingdale, NY 11735
(631) 752-0521
800-522-6294 toll-free
(631) 752-0738 TTY
(631) 752-1145 video-phone
800-281-3555 toll-free TTY
(631) 752-0689 fax
[email protected]
www.maxiaids.com External
Bar magnifiers, binoculars, dome magnifiers, Fresnel magnifiers, hand-held magnifiers, magnifying lamps, portable and desktop video magnifiers, screen-magnification software, stand magnifiers.

Mons International, Inc.
6595 Roswell Rd. NE, #224
Atlanta, GA 30328
800-541-7903 toll-free
(770) 926-7883 fax
[email protected]
www.magnifiers.com External
Bar magnifiers, binoculars, hand-held magnifiers, pendant magnifiers, pocket magnifiers, portable and desktop video magnifiers, stand magnifiers.

National Federation of the Blind Independence Market
200 E. Wells St. at Jernigan Pl.
Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 659-9314, ext. 2216
(410) 685-2340 fax
[email protected]
https://nfb.org/independence-market External
Fresnel magnifiers, hand-held magnifiers, pendant magnifiers, pocket magnifiers, stand magnifiers.

Ocutech
109 Conner Dr., Ste. 2105
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 967-6460
800-326-6460 toll-free
(919) 967-8146 fax
www.ocutech.com External
Binoculars.

Optelec U.S., Inc.
11800 Thirty-First Ct. N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33716
800-444-4443 toll-free
800-368-4111 toll-free fax
[email protected]
https://us.optelec.com External
Portable and desktop video magnifiers.

Patterson Medical
Corporate Headquarters
28100 Torch Pkwy., Ste. 700
Warrenville, IL 60555-3938
(630) 393-6000
800-323-5547 toll-free
(630) 393-7600 fax
[email protected]
www.pattersonmedical.com External
Bar magnifiers, dome magnifiers, Fresnel magnifiers, hand-held magnifiers, pocket magnifiers, stand magnifiers.

Rehabmart, LLC
1353 Athens Hwy.
Elberton, GA 30635-4484
(706) 213-1144
800-827-8283 toll-free
888-507-7326 toll-free fax
[email protected]
www.rehabmart.com External
Bar magnifiers, binoculars, dome magnifiers, Fresnel magnifiers, hand-held magnifiers, screen magnification software, pendant magnifiers, portable and desktop video magnifiers, stand magnifiers.

SeeMoreVision.com
PO Box 3413
Farmingdale, NY 11735-0686
800-428-6673 toll-free
631-752-0689 fax
[email protected]
www.seemorevision.com External
Bar magnifiers, binoculars, desk-top video magnifiers, dome magnifiers, Fresnel magnifiers, hand-held magnifiers, pendant magnifiers, pocket magnifiers.

Sight Connection
929 N. 130th St., Ste. 3
Seattle, WA 98133
(206) 525-5556
800-458-4888 toll-free
www.sightconnection.com External
Bar magnifiers, binoculars, desktop video magnifiers, dome magnifiers, pendant magnifiers, portable and desktop video magnifiers.

Tech-Optics International
600 Deer Rd., Ste. 11
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
(856) 795-8585
800-678-4277 toll-free
(856) 427-7940 fax
[email protected]
www.techopticsinternational.com External
Bar magnifiers, binoculars, dome magnifiers, Fresnel magnifiers, hand-held magnifiers, magnifying lamps, pendant magnifiers, pocket magnifiers, portable video magnifiers, screen-magnification software, stand magnifiers.

Telesight Magnifiers, Inc.
28 Grant St.
Freeport, NY 11520
(718) 939-0415
(516) 868-5616 fax
[email protected]
www.telesightmagnifiers.com/index.html External
Fresnel magnifiers, hand-held magnifiers, magnifying lamps, portable and desktop video magnifiers.

UltraOptix
(203) 468-6090
800-448-2968 toll-free
[email protected]
www.ultraoptix.com External
Bar magnifiers, dome magnifiers, hand-held magnifiers, stand magnifiers.

Universal Low Vision Aids, Inc.
200. E. Campus View Blvd., Ste. 200
Columbus, Ohio 43235
(614) 224-6465
(614) 224-2258 fax
www.ulva.com External
Portable and desktop video magnifiers, screen-magnification software.

VideoEye Corporation
9465 W. Emerald St.
Boise, ID 83704
(208) 323-9577
800-416-0758 toll-free
(208) 658-1762 fax
[email protected]
www.videoeyecorp.com External
Desktop video magnifiers.

VisionCue, LLC
4824 SW Scholls Ferry Rd.
Portland, OR 97221
(503) 297-1510
888-318-2582 toll-free
(503) 459-4003 fax
www.visioncue.com External
Portable and desktop video magnifiers, screen-magnification software.

Visual-Tech Connection
PO Box 1996
Westerville, OH 43086
(614) 899-9989
800-589-8835 toll-free
(614) 899-7553 fax
[email protected]
www.lowvisionaids.com External
Portable and desktop video magnifiers, screen-magnification software.

Your Low Vision Store
800-310-3938 toll-free
http://yourlowvisionstore.com External
Portable and desktop video magnifiers.

Selected Internet Resources

AFB Directory of Services
www.afb.org/directory.aspx External
Provides an online directory searchable by services and by state and/or province.

AFB Senior Site
www.visionaware.org/info/for-seniors/1 External
Designed to support the needs and answer the questions of older adults with vision loss, as well as their families, caregivers, health-care providers, and social services professionals.

All about Vision
www.allaboutvision.com External
Provides information on low vision, eye diseases, eyewear, LASIK and laser eye surgery, and contact lenses.

American Optometric Association
www.aoa.org External
Offers information on eye conditions and diseases, children’s vision, adult vision, and contact lenses.

Association of Vision Science Librarians – Eye Resources on the Internet
www.avsl.org/resources/eye-resources-on-the-internet/ External
Links to eye organizations, information about diseases, university ophthalmology centers, organizations with products and services, online journals, and chat rooms.

Low Vision Gateway
www.lowvision.org External
Includes links to low-vision specialists and sources of assistive devices, information on eye diseases and conditions, organizations assisting persons who are visually impaired, advice regarding children and educational issues, and tips for driving with low vision.

Low Vision Information Center
www.lowvisioninfo.org External
Offers information on lighting, optical aids, and causes of and living with low vision, as well as support programs. Includes an online newsletter.

National Institutes of Health – Eye Health Information
www.nei.nih.gov/health/ External
Provides English- and Spanish-language information on eye diseases and disorders, basic eye anatomy, eye-care resources, and online publications.

New York Institute for Special Education, Blindness Resource Center – Low Vision Resources
www.nyise.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=445303&type=d&pREC_ID=959967 External
Links to producers and distributors of CCTVs, magnification aids, and print-enhancing software. Includes information on living with low vision and using accessibility features on iPhones and Windows computers.

Optelec
https://us.optelec.com External
Provides information about common eye diseases, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration, as well as resources and recommended products to aid in daily tasks.

Prevent Blindness America
www.preventblindness.org External
Information on adult eye problems, children’s eye problems, and eye safety. Includes links to eye reports, research, and studies.

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired – CCTV Information Page
www.tsbvi.edu/resources/1189-cctv-information-page External
Presents basic and advanced features and types of CCTVs, links to manufacturers, information links, and factors to consider when choosing CCTVs.

Compiled by
Chris Corrigan
July 2018

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