Enhanced Vision Merlin Helps Lion’s Club

Enhanced Vision Merlin Helps Lion’s Club

Posted on Jun.07, 2010, under Enhanced Vision News

New equipment helps vision impaired

Daniel Giles/TimesDaily
Library Director Teresa Newton demonstrates the new Merlin reader that was purchased by the Lawrenceburg Lions Club to help vision-impaired residents.

When Stanley Wilson heard the Lions Club District Governor stress the importance of the club being known for its community work he knew exactly what to do.

“Working with and for people who are visionally challenged is a major pro-ject for the Lions Club as a whole,” said Wilson, president of the Lawrenceburg Lions Club. “For some time, our group had talked about doing something for our library that could benefit vision impaired individuals.”

The Lions Club purchased equipment for the Lawrence County Public Library that helps to enhance reading material for individuals with vision problems. The library is on East Gaines Street in Lawrenceburg.

“Once we decided to do this project, we approached the library with the idea and they were all for it,” Wilson said. “They were more than willing to work with us on this.”

The equipment, known as a Merlin, is a flexible desktop magnifier. Reading material placed underneath the magnifier is projected in large type on a monitor making it easier to read. The magnifier also works with photographs by projecting a larger image on the monitor.

Wilson said the Lions Club, which is the oldest civic organization in Lawrenceburg, not only donated the $2,700 equipment, but an additional $750 to purchase books on CDs.

Teresa Newton, director of the library, said the donation will be a major benefit to the people using the library.

“We have one lady who brings in her mom, who is legally blind, and gets books on CDs for her,” Newton said. “When I told her about the new equipment she was excited that her mother might get the chance to read again.”

James Jones, of Ethridge, Tenn., does a lot of work on genealogy. After seeing the Merlin in use, he said he could see how it can be beneficial.

“I’ve got some old census reports I’d like to look over. The print is so small it’s hard to see but using that equipment would make it a lot better,” Jones said.

Newton said a many library customers are older residents who already like the large print books and books on CDs.

“I love to read and I can’t image not being able to read,” Newton said. “Hopefully, this will open reading up to a lot of people who haven’t had a chance to read in a long time because of limitations with their vision.”

Wilson said that’s exactly what the Lions Club is trying to do with the donation.

“We’re excited about offering an opportunity to the people of our area with low vision to enjoy the same reading materials as those who are blessed with good eyesight,” Wilson said.

Newton said the library has had the new equipment for only a few days, but it is already being used.

“We had one person who was so impressed with it, that he wanted to take it home,” she said, laughing.

Original article can be found at: http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20100605/NEWS/100609873/1011/NEWS?Title=New-equipment-helps-vision-impaired