Editor’s note: Just in time for the holidays, Steve Kelley has provided a great suggestion for a gift. Keep reading to find out more and check out our APHVisionAware gift guide.
If you are blind or low vision and use a smartphone or tablet, you know how handy these devices are. They allow you to enlarge print for reading emails, articles, books, food labels, or hardcopy print material. Text recognition applications, such as Seeing AI, allow users to take pictures and recognize text. However, holding a smartphone or tablet close to your eyes for an extended time or holding a device still while using the camera as a mini video magnifier presents challenges.
I imagined how cool it would be to have a stand to hold an iPad at just the right height for these tasks. The ones I found never seemed to work well or were just too expensive.
The LV Tablet Stand
At a recent conference, I learned of the LV Tablet Stand. Allie Futty, a Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) at the Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and Barry Hulce, an engineer with Blue Vista Creations, in the Maker community of South Burlington, Vermont collaborated on the project. Allie described what she was looking for, and Barry developed the stand, made with a 3-D printer.
After I saw the stand, which is available in desktop and portable models, I placed an order for the portable model at LVTabletStand.com and received it several days later. The stand is designed to accommodate a variety of tablets or phones. Once secured, you can tilt the device forward or backward, turn it 360° and adjust the height of the stand. The stand is sturdy — made from recycled plastic with adjustment screws ensuring the height and tilt of the tablet angle that is best for viewing.
The portable and desktop models are slightly different at the base. Four legs keep the desktop model steady on a surface. The portable unit has only two wide legs, so it can tip easily when accommodating a larger-sized tablet. The portable model worked well with my 10-inch iPad Air. The Apple keyboard rests perfectly against the legs when typing.
A Great Ergonomic Solution
I use my iPad for journaling and responding to email. Looking down to see the screen, I became a poster-boy for poor ergonomic neck strain. Placing the LV Tablet stand on my desk positions the screen at eye level, making it easier to see with less eye and neck strain. Lowering the stand and changing the tilt, my iPad becomes a convenient video magnifier, using the Magnifier app, or Seeing AI for text-to-speech Optical Character Recognition (OCR). The stand holds an iPad steady at just the right distance.
The LV Tablet Stand is a great ergonomic solution for those of us who need to be close to the screen. I received a quick personal email response from Barry when I placed my order. It’s always a bonus purchasing from a local New England business.
For more information, check out LVTabletStand.com. At the time of this writing, the portable stand sells for $65 plus shipping, and the desktop stand sells for $70 plus shipping.