Access For All - Hearing and Vision Technology

Welcome to the Reuben Hoar Library's Accessible Library Services! We are dedicated to ensuring that everyone in our community has equal access to knowledge, information, and the joy of reading. In pursuit of this mission, we are thrilled to offer a range of devices and resources specifically designed to cater to the needs of individuals with hearing and vision impairments.

Our commitment to inclusivity drives us to create an environment where everyone can explore the world of literature, research, and digital content without limitations. Through our Accessible Library Services, we strive to break down barriers and provide individuals with the tools they need to engage with books, magazines, and digital media, regardless of their unique challenges.

In this digital age, the library is not just a physical space; it's a gateway to information, entertainment, and lifelong learning. We invite you to explore our extensive collection of assistive devices, technologies, and resources that will empower individuals with hearing and vision impairments to connect with the rich tapestry of literature and knowledge. At the Reuben Hoar Library, we believe that reading should be an enriching and accessible experience for all, and we are here to make that belief a reality.

These services are made possible by a $14,894 LSTA "Access for All" Grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.  

What's available?

Assistive Technology for the Hearing Impaired

FM Hearing Systems in the Sturtz Meeting Room and Murray Conference Room.  

FM systems are wireless assistive hearing devices that enhance the use of hearing aids, cochlear implants and also assist people who are hard of hearing but do not wear hearing aids, in particular over distance and in noisy environments.

They enable sound to be picked up closer to a speaker, sound source or connected directly to the sound source and transmitted to the individual providing greater clarity of speech/sound and a reduction in background noise.

Counter Hearing Induction Loop Systems at the Circulation Desks

The PLA 90 picks up external voices with an integrated microphone or with an optional external microphone. The system transmits the spoken word directly and clearly to a listener’s hearing aid equipped with a T-Coil. Designed to meet ADA accessibility requirements.

Pocketalker Personal Amplifiers (available for check-out)

The Pocketalker Pro is a personal amplifier device. It amplifies sounds closest to the listener while reducing background noise. It is ideal for use in one-on-one conversations, small group and television listening, or conversing in the car. It can be used with or without hearing aids.

Assistive Technology for the Vision Impaired

Topaz Ultra Portable Video Magnifier

Used to magnify text from a book or other documents in high definition, high contrast, and other color modes.

Portable Digital Magnifiers (available for check-out)

For many people who need help reading text and seeing details because of low vision, traditional magnifying glasses work only up to a point. The RUBY takes handheld magnification to the next level and beyond. The RUBY’s full color, high brightness video screen makes it outstanding for magnifying bills, mail, receipts, and checks. It easily slips into a pocket or purse as the perfect traveling companion for visiting the grocery store, pharmacy, bank, library, restaurant, or anywhere else. And it’s quick and easy to operate, with bright, colorful push buttons.

Optelec ClearReader+

Text-to-speech device.  Can read text to a person with vision impairments.