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 be fastened on a stand or a handle or attached to a headset or 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 vendors 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 discounts, 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 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 Print Disabled does not distribute magnifying devices. The listing of companies does not imply endorsement.

Contents

Types of Magnifying Devices

Bar magnifiers

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

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

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

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

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 handheld 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

Handheld magnifiers

Handheld 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.
Bernell

Magnifying lamps

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

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

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, which can be used singly or in combination, and are available in illuminated and non-illuminated models.

Portable video magnifiers

Portable video magnifiers are handheld 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

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

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.

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, handheld magnifiers, pendant magnifiers, Fresnel magnifiers, stand magnifiers.

Bierley Associates, Inc.
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, handheld magnifiers.

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
http://www.ctechlowvision.com/ External
Portable and desktop video magnifiers.

Dazor Manufacturing Corporation
2360 Chaffee Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63146
(314) 652-2400
800-345-9103 toll-free
(314) 652-2069 fax
[email protected]
www.dazor.com External
Magnifying lamps, desktop video magnifiers.

Designs for Vision
4000 Veterans Memorial Hwy.
Bohemia, NY 11716-1024
(631) 585-3300
800-345-4009 toll-free
(631) 585-5704 fax
https://www.designsforvision.com External
Binocular magnifiers.

Enhanced Vision
15301 Springdale St.
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
888-811-3161 toll-free
(714) 374-1821 fax
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
www.eschenbach.com External
Bar magnifiers, binoculars, handheld magnifiers, pendant magnifiers, pocket magnifiers, portable and desktop video magnifiers, stand magnifiers.

Fisher Scientific
877-885-2081
https://www.fishersci.com/us/en/products/I9C8KT0J/magnifiers.html External
Handheld magnifiers, magnifying lamps, pocket 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
Handheld magnifiers, pocket magnifiers, portable and desktop video magnifiers, screen-magnification software.

Freedom Scientific
Blind/Low Vision Group
17757 US Highway 19 N, Ste. 560
Clearwater, FL 33764
(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 and desktop 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
800-722-3393 toll-free
888-871-4828 toll-free fax
[email protected]
www.humanware.com External
Portable and desktop video magnifiers.

iMagniphy
(917) 920-0533
[email protected]
https://imagniphy.com External
Handheld 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, handheld magnifiers, pendant magnifiers, pocket magnifiers, portable and desktop video magnifiers, screen-magnification software, stand magnifiers.

Irie-AT
(541) 360-3007
888-308-0059 toll-free
[email protected]
https://irie-at.com External
Portable and desktop video magnifiers.

Lighthouse for the Blind Visual Aids Store
123 State St.
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504) 899-4501
http://lighthouselouisiana.org/Visual-Aids-Store External
Bar magnifiers, binoculars, handheld magnifiers, pendant magnifiers, portable 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 Shop
2219 York Rd., Ste. 301 A
Timonium, MD 21093
(410) 431-2020
[email protected]
http://www.thelowvisionshop.com/ External
Bar Magnifiers, desktop video magnifiers, handheld magnifiers, pendent magnifiers, pocket magnifiers, portable video-magnifiers.

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

LS&S, LLC
145 River Rock Dr.
Buffalo, NY 14207
(716) 348-3500
800-468-4789 toll-free
877-498-1482 toll-free fax
866-317-8533 toll-free TTY
www.lssproducts.com External
Bar magnifiers, binoculars, dome magnifiers, Fresnel magnifiers, handheld 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, handheld magnifiers, 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, handheld magnifiers, pendant magnifiers, pocket magnifiers, portable and desktop video magnifiers, stand magnifiers.

Magnifiers.com
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, handheld magnifiers, pendant magnifiers, pocket magnifiers, portable and desktop video 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, handheld 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]
https://magnifyingamerica.com/ External
Binoculars, handheld magnifiers, magnifying lamps, portable and 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, handheld magnifiers, portable video magnifiers.

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

Patriot Vision Industries, LLC
2129 SW Highway 484
Ocala, FL 34473
800-364-1612 toll-free
[email protected]
https://patriotvisionindustries.com External
Portable and desktop video 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, handheld magnifiers, pendant magnifiers, portable and desktop video magnifiers, screen magnification software, stand magnifiers.

Reinecker USA, LLC
145 River Rock Dr.
Buffalo, NY 14207
(716) 348-3512
888-733-2352 toll-free
(413) 403-9777 fax
[email protected]
http://www.reineckervision.de/us/home External
Portable and desktop video 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, handheld magnifiers, pendant magnifiers, pocket magnifiers.

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

With It
8683 West Sahara Ave., Ste. 180
Las Vegas, NV 89117
800-701-9484
[email protected]
https://www.withitgear.com External
Bar magnifiers, dome magnifiers, handheld magnifiers, magnifying lamps.

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Selected Internet Resources

AFB Senior Site
www.visionaware.org/info/for-seniors/1 External
Designed to support the needs and answer questions from 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.

MedlinePlus—Vision Impairment and Blindness
https://medlineplus.gov/visionimpairmentandblindness.html External
Provides information on the medical causes of loss of visional acuity. Offers resources for education, treatments, statistics, risk factors, etc.

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 desktop video magnifiers, magnification aids, and print-enhancing software. Includes information on living with low vision and using accessibility features on iPhones and Windows computers.

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.

Update May 2023


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