Sometimes when we imagine aids for the classroom, we only think of high-tech solutions like special computer programs, high-definition magnifiers, or anything that requires electricity, batteries, or the internet. But there are many low-tech products that can make your life easier, too.
Making some simple adjustments to the standard pencil and paper setup can go a long way. One of the easiest changes to make is to buy bold line writing paper. Typically the lines on this type of paper are thicker and darker than your standard paper. They are also usually spaced farther apart. This notepad is an example of bold line paper that has lines spaced more than half an inch apart.
Another modification that can be made is to add color to your sheet. Yellow is one of the most common colors used, because it provides a lot of contrast. Notepads like the Yellow Bold Line Writing Paper print their lines on yellow paper.
For tactile assistance, you can buy paper with raised lines. Raised line paper is similar to bold lined paper in that the lines are spaced far apart, and they are thicker and easier to see. But the big difference is that the lines are also thick enough to feel. This helps you find your place with your fingers and can also keep your writing instrument from slipping above or below the lines.
Books on tape and e-readers are really handy, but sometimes it’s nice to just carry a physical copy of a text with you. Your level of visual impairment will determine what works best, but options range from large print books to braille.
The National Library Service makes large print books and magazines available through their loan program. Many local library branches also have large print texts on hand, or they can get them quickly through their local interlibrary loan.
The same goes for braille editions of books and magazines. The National Library Service will also deliver these books to your door, once you’ve registered for their service.
Sometimes reading difficulties can be addressed by changing the contrast on the page or reducing the glare from white paper. An easy way to fix this issue is to slip acetate transparent sheets over the page you are reading. Yellow is the most preferred color, but our kit includes a variety of colors so you can try them out and see what works best for you.
Some of the same concepts that apply to your paper products also apply to your writing utensils. Pens that increase contrast or make thicker lines will be easier to see. If you’re not quite sure which type of pen will work best for you, you can try our Low Vision Pens sampler pack. It comes with four different pens to try.
A bold line pencil is also an option. Pencils are economical and won’t smudge ink on your clothes or fingers. The Faber Castell #8B pencil is what we carry and recommend.
As always, you can see our full range of products on our website. If you are looking for something specific for the classroom, type your keywords in the search bar, and it will check our site for suggestions.