Portable Scan and Read Station

Individuals who need to read mail, restaurant menus and other documents that are not available electronically find it very difficult or impossible without an expensive scan and read technology. An innovated solution has been invented by Dr. Therese Willkomm, Director of Assistive Technology in New Hampshire (ATinNH), to be used with the Textgrabber App for the iPhone or iPod Touch.

The Textgrabber App takes a picture of a document and reads the text information out loud in seconds. For the App to work successfully, both the piece of paper and the iPhone or iPod Touch camera must not move. In addition, the lack of vision may make it difficult to determine if the paper or document is correctly lined up beneath the camera of the device.

Dr. Therese Willkomm recently created a very simple solution to this challenge by inventing the Portable Scan and Read Station which folds up and fits into a back pack. This solution can be created in five minutes or less and costs approximately $5.00 in materials. View the video on YouTube.

Follow these step-by-step instructions for fabricating the Portable Scan and Read Station.

Below is a picture of John Mule; an IT professional from Connecticut who is blind and is using the Portable Scan and Read Station. Read his comment on Therese’s new invention.

“Your portable reading station is a life-changing device for me. I could never justify the cost of the Kurzweil reading station. I can now open and read the mail all by myself. My wife doesn’t like dealing with all of the junk mail. I can now filter out the junk mail before she ever has to look at it. It is remarkable and I want to thank you for such a simple yet useful device. Every visually impaired person who owns an iOS device should have one of your portable reading stations.”

Check out more innovated solutions created by Dr. Willkomm in her new book: Assistive Technology Solutions in Minutes Book 2: Ordinary Items, Extraordinary Solutions.