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Goldilocks and the Three Magnifiers

Date & Time
Thursday, March 17, 2022 - 2:20 PM PST  
Elite 1-3  

Nearly everyone is familiar with the English fairy tale “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” Though the story presents Goldilocks as an ill-behaved, not well-brought-up, young girl who intrudes on the home of a polite family of three bears – there is something very human about her “stay” in their home. Goldilock’s pursuit of the “just right” porridge, chair, and bed create a perfect allegory for the hunt many undertake to identify the electronic magnifier that is “just right” to recommend or purchase. In this session, we will look at multiple criteria that should be considered in choosing an electronic magnifier among the various form factors available and discuss those that rise to the level of being most important to get the selection “just right.”

Throughout her explorations, Goldilocks most certainly had specific criteria in mind to determine what was “just right.” Though not explicitly stated, readers of the fairy tale have a pretty good idea of what Goldilocks is looking for in her food, seat, and mattress. Unfortunately, this is not the case when an electronic magnifier becomes necessary to support less-than-perfect vision. Counselors, evaluators, and individuals must have a foundational set of criteria to select a “just right” electronic magnifier. This session will include seven criteria ranging from physical properties to user needs and technical aptitude in the decision-making process.

In addition to “just right” selection criteria, attendees will also be presented with electronic magnifiers in three form factors: handheld, portable, and transportable/desktop and two essential functional levels magnification only and magnification coupled with smart capabilities. Each will be introduced and demonstrated within the context of the “just right” criteria. Participants will be led to understand when and where each type of magnifier will yield the greatest return for the user, whether for personal use, schoolwork, or professional endeavors. In some cases, “just right” may mean that trade-offs are made or two-are-better-than-one.

Presenter and attendee discussion of the decision-making process will prioritize selection criteria that will best constitute a “just right” answer based on individual user needs. A key aspect of this discussion will be driving participants’ understanding and recognition that the priority of these criteria may shift based upon user needs. In some cases, the budget may be an overriding concern; in other situations, an individual may not have the technical savvy necessary for a device. This understanding is central to choosing a “just right” electronic magnification device.

Unlike Goldilocks’ seemingly random quest for the “just right” temperature of food, hardness of seat, and height of the bed, participants in this session will depart with the knowledge necessary to adequately vet, prioritize, and select the “just right” electronic magnifier to meet the needs of the end-user.

This Presentation Link is provided by the Presenter(s) and not hosted by the Center on Disabilities at CSUN. The Center on Disabilities has confirmed, as of March 15, 2022, content linked is relevant to the presentation, but has not been reviewed for accessibility nor will the Center on Disabilities attempt to remediate any accessibility issues in the linked content. Please contact the Presenter(s) with any accessibility concerns.

  • Higher Education
  • Disability Specific
  • K-12 Education
  • Healthcare & Rehabilitation
  • Employment & Human Resources
Audience Level
Session Summary (Abstract)
Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a well-known English fairy tale. Selecting an electronic magnifier leaves no time for a random “just right” search. Criteria should include various models available from handheld to desktop and the recognition that the same criteria may have different priorities based upon individual needs.  
Session Type
General Track  
  • Blind/Low Vision
  • Education
  • Employment & Workplace
  • Healthcare & Rehabilitation
  • School-to-Work Transitioning


  • Roger Steinberg
  • Eric Beauchamp

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