What Low Vision Aids are, types of Low Vision Aids, further information.

What Low Vision Aids (LVAs) are

A low vision aid (LVA) is a device that increases a child or young person’s visual access.  

Types of LVAs

LVAs can be grouped in two basic categories. 

Near LVAs

These are for close-up, detailed activities such as: 

  • reading 
  • writing
  • crafting

Most LVAs may isolate, bring closer or magnify an image or text. 

Others have more sophisticated functions, for example they can: 

  • change the background colour or the font colour
  • provide more light 
  • provide a higher level of contrast

Distance LVAs

These are for activities which are further away such as: 

  • reading street signs
  • identifying numbers on buses
  • seeing the teacher 
  • accessing a whiteboard

Some distance LVAs just bring a distant image closer. Others can: 

  • change colours of the image 
  • change the level of contrast
  • freeze the image

Examples of LVAs

LVAs can be further subdivided into: 

  • those that may be recommended by a Qualified Teacher of the Visually Impaired (QTVI) or
  • specialist magnifiers that might be prescribed by an orthoptist through a low vision clinic

LVAs that might be recommended by a QTVI include: 

  • typoscope
  • reading ruler
  • sloping desk 
  • specialist electronic magnifiers with a camera and big monitor, often coming with a specially designed worktop

An orthoptist will: 

  • assess individual needs by taking into consideration: 
    • tasks performed by the patient 
    • the nature of the vision loss
  • prescribe appropriate LVAs, as some people may use more than one

Further information

You can find more information on:

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Sensory Support Service
Elmfield House
Greystoke Avenue
BS10 6AY

Phone: 0117 903 8442
Text: 07407 814 763
Email: sensorysupportservice@bristol.gov.uk