Helpful Hints

Using tablet computers

We are seeing more and more of our patients who have tablet computers.  Most of the time the tablets were given to them with the intention of making reading easier for the low vision patient.  The problem is that patients and their families are led to believe that they can use the tablet right out of the box.  Unfortunately, that is not true.  The tablets can easily be modified, however, to make them easier to use for low vision patients.  The two most helpful modifications that can be made are to increase the font size and change the background color.  As we have written before, our favorite combination is a yellow background with black lettering.  Many of the newer tablets have this capability.  Patients also have to be taught to use rulers to help them keep their place as they are reading.  The final lesson is on effective lighting.  The light has to come from the side so as to illuminate the tablet without throwing glare back to the patient.    Many of our patients have had success learning to use their tablets.  One of them, using these strategies, is even able to read his newspaper that he downloads every day.