2005 Conference Proceedings

Go to previous article 
Go to next article 
Return to 2005 Table of Contents 


Andreas Heim
OPTRON Assistive Technologies Street Address: P.O. Box 5454
Morton, IL 61550
Phone: 309 694 2077
Fax: 309 694 2077
Email: a.heim@optronusa.com

The company OPTRON is based in Germany and looks back on almost twenty years of experience with manufacturing assistive technology devices for people with a visual impairment. OPTRON has a very successful history in several European countries and is now operating in the U.S. as OPTRON Assistive Technologies.

The PCT video magnifiers have been in use in Germany for several years and undergone constant improvement reflecting the users' individual needs.

The PCT features a new and innovative design, cutting edge components and high manufacturing quality. It reaches a new level of versatility which makes it the ideal CCTV in the classroom, on the job and at home for many people with a visual impairment.

With the OPTRON PCT a student can magnify the blackboard and the overhead transparency to the display. The PCT's TwistCam™ Technology allows free positioning of the device at the left and at the right hand side of the user. The sturdy swivel arm holds the picture quiet and steady. The PCT also magnifies reading materials at the student's desk. As it does not require a reading tray, the PCT can, in most cases, be attached directly to the student's desk and is therefore always available. Unlike with many standard CCTVs, the student doesn't have to sit in the back of the classroom any more when he or she wants to use the video magnifier. The PCT therefore reduces the social stigma of using assistive technology in the classroom and raises the level of acceptance among students with low vision.

The PCT has a sleek design and has a lot of room underneath the camera. It is ideal not only for writing, but also for many other fine motor /hands-on activities like disecting, crafting, sewing, cutting. The Autofocus can be locked.

The PCT can be connected to a computer monitor (Tube/CRT and TFT/LCD is possible), a television a computer or a laptop (for increased travel needs).

The PCT travels protected in a hard plastic carrying case. Various setups are possible for the user's individual travel needs.

The picture quality of the PCT is excellent. Monochrome colors, reversed polarity, brightness dimmer and other functions allow for individual adjustments to the user's needs.

The PCT's combination of functions and quality is a great help towards increasing independence and equal access to education for many visually impaired students. It is an excellent tool to increase independence and inclusion.

The presentation of the PCT will provide a practical demonstration of its features. Explanations of how the user will benefit from the functionality will accompany the demonstration.

The presentation will have an emphasis on everyday situations, in which the use of many other magnification devices is difficult or impossible. Depending on the number of people attending the presentation, the audience can try out the PCT directly.

The presentation will reflect the different models and the accessories of the PCT, the wide range of displays that can be used with it and the limitations of the device to give the audience concise and realistic information.

Questions from the audience are welcome during the presentation. Depending on the time left, there will be room for discussion and additional questions.

Go to previous article 
Go to next article 
Return to 2005 Table of Contents 

Reprinted with author(s) permission. Author(s) retain copyright.