Cutting-edge technology opening up a world of print material to those with visual impairments has been donated to Dundee Central Library.
The Eye-Pal SOLO electronic vision aid is able to scan up to 20 pages per minute before reading aloud the information within seconds, making books, magazines and newspapers accessible to blind and partially-blind people.
Scottish War Blinded donated the Freedom Scientific-produced equipment to the library, located in the Wellgate Shopping Centre.
The device was initially highlighted to Leisure & Culture Dundee’s library service by veteran Geoffrey Hillyard who is also a regular customer.
Rebecca Barr, director of Scottish War Blinded, said the organisation was “delighted” to hand over the equipment, which she said will boost the lives of many locals.
Losing the ability to read due to a vision impairment is an issue that affects thousands of people,” she said.
“Reading is vital to a person’s independence and is not just about enjoyment alone.
“Whether it’s checking your mail, medication labels or bank statements, or keeping up-to-date with newspapers – losing this ability can feel devastating if you have no support.
“It is so important to make information and literature as accessible as possible.
“Many of the Scottish War Blinded veterans have found the impact of audio vision aids – just like the piece we have donated to Central Library – to be life-changing, enabling them to regain their love of reading and maintain their independence despite their sight loss.
“We very much hope library visitors will get as much enjoyment from the use of this piece of equipment as many Scottish War Blinded members do.”
Scottish War Blinded helps to rehabilitate and train people in adapting to sight loss as well as offering home modifications, emotional support and a number of social activities.
It regularly donates and supplies free specialist vision aid equipment to members including lighting, tablets and phones to canes, talking clocks, talking watches and cooking aids.
Sinclair Aitken, chair of Leisure & Culture Dundee said praised the charity for their contribution.
He said: “Libraries continue to be the best place in our communities for everyone to access the information they need.
“It is therefore fantastic that we are now able to offer the use of this piece of equipment to everyone with a visual impairment in the city and we are very grateful to Scottish War Blinded for the donation.”
Anyone interested in trying the Eye-Pal in the Connections Department at Dundee Central Library can drop in or contact firstname.lastname@example.org