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Customer Discussions > Kindle forum

Reader with Macular Degeneration

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Showing 1-14 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 10, 2010 11:03:06 AM PST
T. Apple says:
Hi. I was thinking of getting the new Kindle 3 for my mother who has macular degeneration and cannot see to read anymore since it has an option for a male or female voice to read to you. How does this work? Can this 'voice' read every book aloud and clearly? Can you download audiobooks and have them read by the person reading the audiobook or the male/female voice only or not at all? Being able to download Audiobooks and having them read by the author or whoever was designated to read the book would be a great option if the Kndle does not work this way. I'm not sure it would be that much of a help anyway since it would probably be difficult for her to navigate around the store to download but any help would be appreciated on this feature.

Posted on Dec 10, 2010 11:06:11 AM PST
The text-to-speech does not work on every book because the publisher has the ability to disable it. When you go to the Kindle edition product description of a book, it will say whether tts is enabled or not.

Kindles can play audio books, and they are read by whoever recorded it, not the computer voice.

Posted on Dec 10, 2010 11:15:07 AM PST
K. Hardesty says:
My grandma has macular degeneration and has to read with a magnifying glass. But, she reads on my Kindles with ease...she cranks the text size up. I think it would be a wonderful gift for your mother.
If it's easier for her to get on her computer and enlarge the text for browsing ebooks, she can shop for her ebooks that way and just click the buy and send to kindle button. I do it that way's nicer to browse on a regular computer instead of thru the Kindle.

Posted on Dec 10, 2010 11:24:39 AM PST
GreyDay says:
For the largest text size the DX or the kindle-ap for the ipad might work best. The largest text is VERY large. The menus can not be enlarged so she might need some help selecting and opening the book. Why not try the kindle for a couple weeks and see if will work for her? If it doesn't you can send it back.

Posted on Dec 10, 2010 11:51:05 AM PST
Boone-Scully says:
I work with the Blind and visually impaired and a few of my consumers, who are totally blind, are considering getting the K3. The k3 has made great strides with making it more accessible with the voice guide to go along with the tts. Unfortunately total access is still not available. With voice guide and tts on the actual Internet can not be read, so all purchasing would have to be done via a computer. Also with these activated highlights, notes and bookmarks are more difficult to do. Audio books work great on the k3, and I have several. Now you can link with amazon so your audio books can be archived like regular books to free up space.

Posted on Dec 10, 2010 12:59:41 PM PST
Kindlette says:
I'm getting a K3 for my grandpa for this very reason. He's always loved to read, but in recent years, it's been too difficult. I think the huge text and tts will allow him to enjoy things he misses. :) I also think he'll love the games, too. He's a crossword and scrabble junkie.

Boone-Scully is right that there are a few areas where the difficulty remains, though, so it's good to have someone handy to help. I have vision troubles that come and go (around the optic nerve, so glasses don't help), and when it flares, I really notice the things like the marks, lists, and the Amazon page that are way too tiny to see and don't have a way to tts or voice guide.

It's strange that there's no way around them other than to have someone help you, but still... i can read my books, or have them read to me, for blissful hours. That's when I love my K3 most and wonder what I ever did without it.

Posted on Dec 10, 2010 2:26:08 PM PST
Pushka says:
My mother has macular degeneration and did not read for years. Until I got her the kindle. I hacked it to get the largest font on the settings page. I used blu tack in various colours to show up the important buttons like the home and page buttons. I printed out in large font the front of the kindle with instructions of the various functions of the buttons with matching blu tack. And I reassured her that she would not break it if she fiddled. She has read maybe 30 books in 3 months. She says it is her best present ever. She lives in a retirement village and five of her friends now have one. One of them turned 90 last week; can you believe it but in her birthday speech by her son, he actually mentioned the kindle and how it had given her a new life! Do it but think about how you can best modify it for her. I used a k2 for this. Her 90 year old friend bought a DX.

Posted on Dec 10, 2010 2:39:19 PM PST
luvshihtzu says:
I have a Kindle DX and would recommend it anyone who has to increase the print size up to the larger sizes. More words on the page this way. It supports print to voice, but the books read from this system are annoying to listen to. Not anything like a professionally recorded audiobook. An iPad is lovely, but a lot of people don't have that much money in their pocket to give as a gift. Get the biggest one you can afford.

If you are going the audiobook way, then just buy an MP3/WMA Player. Currently on Amazon is the Sansa Clip 8GB for $50. Great price. Assume it is a closeout. The buttons are fairly big and it looks easy to use. Probably could hold 40 books on it and you could download free audiobooks from the online Overdrive library.

Posted on Dec 10, 2010 2:49:23 PM PST
the text voice is like a bad robot. my mom has md and she likes all the free services from the libraries that are available to her. to be honest there are many better ways for her to "read" books. kindle is not really one of them. (and i do love kindles- just not for my mom)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 10, 2010 2:59:08 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 10, 2010 3:00:20 PM PST
If your mom cannot read at all even with very large fonts, I wouldn't recommend a Kindle. There are better solutions out there fo raudiobooks.

My grandmother has macular degeneration. Fortunately she is still able to read if there is a very good light source, but I would never get her a kindle despite its adjustable fonts because of the contrast issue.

I would think that the ipad or one of the other back-lit ereaders would work better for someone suffering from macular degeneration.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 10, 2010 3:21:15 PM PST
T. Apple says:
Thank you everyone for the input. From whAt I can tell;
the voice within the kindle probably wouldn't be the best
for my mother to listen to. She also just wouldn't be
able to actually see the text no matter how much
she would be able to enlarge it. However, since it sounds like
she can download audiobooks and have them read to
her by the original reader, it might not be a bad idea
to have her try it. It would be much better for her
to be able to not need to sit in front of a cd player or
use a small mp3 player for the audiobook especially
since it would feel more like she is holding a book.

Thanks again

Posted on Dec 7, 2011 6:30:43 PM PST
I think the Kindle would be a great tool for my Dad. He has only one eye and can barely see out of the other. My concern are the little bity buttons to access information. Is there something better out there that would help with this?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2011 8:37:03 PM PST
T. Apple says:
Hi Harvey
I don't know if there is anything better out there but I have to tell you,
I bought the kindle last Christmas for my mother since she has
Macular degeneration in both eyes and she said it has been the best gift I've could have given. It has helped her so much being able to
Hear the books. She never used the audio cd books we bought and I was a little hesitant to purchase but it's so much like holding a book and much more portable than any cd player and I think that really helps. The
Buttons are rather small but she now knows what she needs to
Push to get to where she needs. I download the books for her
And she is able to navigate to play them. It has really improved
Her quality of life. Hopefully, this helps in your choice.


In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2011 10:27:54 PM PST
Thanks for the help, Todd. I live about 150 miles from my Dad and my concern is that he won't be able to do the downloads without me. I'm sure it's an issue we can overcome. Does the Kindle Fire offer audio capabilities? I know he would like to read the words. I bought him a large Print Bible for Father's Day and he love it. The only store in his town that sells them is Walmart and when I took him down to let him play, they were all either disconnected or lock up.

I think it would be good for him and worth the investment.

thanks for the help.
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  11
Total posts:  14
Initial post:  Dec 10, 2010
Latest post:  Dec 7, 2011

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