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Low Vision Services

The Park Ridge Public Library offers various services and materials to library users who have low vision.  

Special Services Room  

Located on the second floor behind the Reader Services Desk, this room offers specialized equipment for the visually impaired. Funding for this room generously provided by the 20th Century Club of Park Ridge.

Low vision equipment included in the room:

  • Large magnifying machine that enlarges print and pictures in full color up to 64 times
  • Computers with software for the visually impaired: JAWS (software that reads aloud Internet screens, e-mail and documents); ZoomText (screen magnification program that enlarges text on screen); OpenBook (software and scanner that reads aloud printed material).  

Low Vision Support Group  

Join us to exchange and share ideas, discuss new research, and listen to guest speakers. Anyone is welcome to attend. For more information and future meeting dates, call Senior Services Coordinator Cathy Thompson at (847) 720-3382 or click here to see our program calendar.  

Large Print Books  

With a type size larger than regular print, these books make reading "easy on the eyes." Bestsellers, classics, mysteries, romances, westerns, and non-fiction materials are available in Large Print. Readers' Digest magazines also available at the Library in Large Print editions.   

Audiobooks  

With titles available on a variety of formats, including CD, Playaway, and digital download. The Library's collection of audiobooks allows low vision users to continue to experience the joy of reading. We have a large selection of fiction and non-fiction audiobook titles for your listening pleasure.  

Hand-held Magnifiers/Pebble 4.3 Electronic Magnifier  

Available in various strengths, including several with lights, for extended checkout. Click here to learn more about the Pebble Magnifier. The Pebble Magnifier is available for Library use only.  

Large CCTV Magnifying Machines  

These machines, with a 20 inch screens and movable tray, are available for extended checkout. For your convenience, the Library will deliver the machine to your home.  

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Voices of Vision/Talking Books  

Library staff can help patrons access the Illinois Talking Book program, which is administered by the Illinois Talking Books Outreach Center in Burr Ridge, Illinois. This service provides the player and digitally recorded books at no charge. Anyone unable to read standard print due to a visual or physical disability is eligible. Contact the Senior Services Coordinator, Cathy Thompson, at (847)-720-3382 or go to www.illinoistalkingbooks.org.

Newsline  

Newsline provides free access to over 250 local and national newspapers from any phone. Please note that you must be registered with Talking Books to be eligible for Newsline. For more information on Newsline, call 866-504-7300 or go tonfb.org/audio-newspaper-service.  

Low Vision Info/Websites  

  • www.nihseniorhealth.gov- a website with health and wellness information for older adults from the National Institutes of Health.
  • www.amd.org- whether newly diagnosed or have had AMD for a long time, this site provides information, resources and the support you need.
  • www.nlm.nih.gov- the world's largest medical library- choose AMD in the alphabetical link listing for information on Adult Macular Degeneration.
  • www.mdsupport.org- the eyes of the magular degeneration community. An excellent resource for the latest news and research.
  • www.macular.org- an extremely comprehensive and helpful website for those with macular degeneration, including videos and the latest scientific research and findings.
  • www.afb.org/seniorsitehome.asp- American Foundation for the Blind is especially geared toward senior adult low vision needs. This site allows easy access to every senior low vision concern.
  • www.second-sense.org- the website of Second Sense. Second Sense strives to promote a positive attitude about low vision and assistance in achieving and maintaining independence.
  • www.nei.nih.gov- the National Eye Institute is the best source for the latest in-depth analysis of research, news and events.
  • www.blindness.org- the website of the Foundation Fighting Blindness. This organization is a major source of funding for vision loss research. The site includes calendars of local events and happenings in the Chicago area.
  • www.thechicagolighthouse.org- Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind provides information and services to the local low vision community, including a calendar of the latest Chicagoland events.
  • www.amdalliance.org- a very friendly user site for individuals and family affected by AMD.
  • www.iei.ico.edu/home.html- the Illinois Eye Institute is one of the nation's leading clinics and resource centers focusing expressly on eye care.
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