North Central Sight Services has donated $10,000 worth of technology devices to Bellefonte Library, the main branch of the Centre County Library System, to assist library patrons who have low vision. The devices include desktop and handheld video magnifiers that enable people with low vision to read printed materials.
The first-of-its-kind donation by North Central Sight Services is made possible through a grant presented to the non-profit organization by an anonymous donor. The video magnifiers are now available for any library patron to use at Bellefonte Library.
“We’re thrilled to make these assistive technology devices available to the public at the Bellefonte Library,” said North Central Sight Services President and CEO Brian Patchett. “We hope this donation helps bring awareness to the life-changing benefits of such devices. Assistive technology like these devices helps people who are visually impaired live independently and fully enjoy life.”
Nicholas Struble, branch manager at Bellefonte Library, said, “As a public library, we aim to make our collections and resources accessible to everyone in our community. Prior to this generous donation, our offerings for individuals who have low vision were limited to audiobooks and large-print books. Now a world of additional books and other library materials are accessible to them.”
The North Central Sight Services donation includes two desktop video magnifiers, five handheld devices, two high contrast/large print keyboards and one large monitor, as well as a Zoom text magnifying software license. While the desktop devices are available for patrons to use on-site at the Bellefonte Library, the handheld devices are available to patrons to borrow for a seven-day loan.
North Central Sight Services also has funding available to provide free or low-cost assistive technology devices directly to individuals in Centre County who have low vision. Individuals should contact North Central Sight Services at (570) 323-9401 to learn if they are eligible.
The Assistive Technology Lab at North Central Sight Services’ facility in Williamsport, and the organization’s Mobile Assistive Technology Lab, educates people who are blind or visually impaired on the latest technology to enhance independence. Services include evaluating a client’s needs and abilities, providing training on the best assistive technology for them, and providing technical assistance to clients, family members and employers to effectively put assistive technology to work.