Best Library in the US for Low Vision Readers

May 30, 2012

The following post is by Lauren Tappan:

For those of us with Low Vision and a love of books and libraries, check out the Brooks Free Library in Harwich, Mass. The low-vision group meets every Friday. If only our local libraries showed as much concern.

Vision Impaired Technology Assistance at the Library (VITAL):
The Library has designated computers with the following access software:

·        JAWS screen reading program

·        ZoomText magnification/reading program

·        Kurzweil 1000 scanning/reading program

·        Dolphin Guide magnification/reading program

(Our Guide program also offers voice recognition with a bridge to the Dragon Naturally speaking software program.)

·        Duxbury Braille Translation program, used with our Juliet Pro60 Braille embosser

We offer free, one-on-one instruction in the use of our access software programs to individuals with sight loss. Never used a computer before? Don’t let that stop you! We even have someone who will teach you to keyboard! We have a desktop video magnifier for use in the Library and a portable video magnifier, called Max, which can be checked out and used with your TV at home. For Braille users there is a Perkins Braille Writer and a slate & stylus. The VITAL resource area contains brochures, handouts, and catalogs of special interest to people with vision impairments. Our VITAL Center is located on the second floor of the Library, in the Reference Dept. If you’d like more information about VITAL services, training on the VITAL equipment or software, or are interested in training to be a volunteer tutor, please call the Library at (508) 430-7562 and speak to Carla Burke, our Assistive Technology Coordinator. You may also email Carla at

Check out this video from Harwich Channel 18 on our VITAL program.

For more info: