Those who need help reading the fine print on a bill, a book or other materials will soon have it at the Seeing Hand Association's Community Resource Reading Room.
The room will offer free use of devices that enlarge print to make it easier to see and read. The public is invited to an open house - slated from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 3 - to check out the Reading Room at the association, located 750 Main St., North Wheeling.
After the open house, the room will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. The devices can help people read their mail, the newspaper, recipes and other materials, said Theresa Kurtz, outreach coordinator. One device is called a closed captioning TV.
Photo by Shelley Hanson
Dan Boggs, Seeing Hand Association shop technician, recanes a chair.
"It's a big computer that when you put a book under it, it magnifies it on the screen," she said.
Kurtz said Seeing Hand relies mostly on donations and fundraisers. The purchase of the devices were made possible by the Hess Family Foundation.
"They've been really good to the agency. It's a Wheeling-based foundation," she added.
The Reading Room is located on the main level of the agency and is handicapped accessible. It contains office chairs and other comfortable chairs where people can relax.
"We want to get the word out and let people know it's available to use," Kurtz said of the room. "It's open to anyone."
Kurtz said the agency is not stocking reading materials at this time, but may do so in the future.
"We also have computers set up so people can check email," she said.
Seeing Hand's resources for the visually impaired include access to technology; magnification and screen readers; orientation and mobility training; employment, career and vocation training; recreation, such as picnics and parties; and support groups and mentorship.
On the second floor of the association's building, people make mops, which are sold in the first-floor gift shop, and recane chairs for a fee.
The gift shop also includes items for sale made by Crafts for a Cause. A portion of the proceeds goes to the association.