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I just recently got a Kindle. For those of you who aren’t sure what that is, it’s a small, thin, electronic device sold by Amazon to which you can download thousands of books as well as subscribe to various periodicals. I like to read when I travel or am sitting in a doctor’s office (the only two times I get to read for pleasure), but I hate carting a book around. Worse yet, I hate to leave on a trip when I’m at the end of a book, because then I have to carry both the old one and the new one. My Kindle, even with its new black leather cover, is smaller than any hardback and lighter than most paperbacks. And the good thing is, if I finish a book, within a minute I’ve got a new one downloaded from Amazon. Cost of the books range from free to about $10 for NY Times best sellers.

You know what I like best?

It has a little button on the bottom that lets you change the font size.  That means I enlarge the type and I don’t have to wear my reading glasses. (smile)

I absolutely hate glasses, but I’m finally of an age where reading glasses are no longer an option. I’ve taken to wearing progressive contacts during the week at the office, but on the weekends, or when I’m otherwise not working, I like to give my eyes a rest from the contacts, so that means reading glasses.

So I guess you could say that my Kindle, like my glasses, is an assistive device. It helps me keep up with current fiction in spite of my failing eyesight. And it’s a really cool assistive device.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy (www.rheumatoidarthritisguy.com) talks about thinking of his sleek new crutches more as a fashion element than an assistive device. Although  like my Kindle they certainly are both. The difference is, my Kindle isn’t viewed as an assistive device. With my Kindle, I’m not an over-the-hill woman who needs her granny glasses to read. Instead, I’m an in-the-know techno geek with the latest gadget.

Now if they could just do something with the rest of the assistive devices in my future. Instead of canes and orthotics, perhaps they could invent some really neat jet-propelled or hover-craft shoes that would just let me zoom effortlessly wherever I wished. (Yeah, I know, still hung up on the shoes.)

Or maybe we just all need to work a little harder at perceiving those assistive devices as the super cool inventions they really are. I work in communications where perception is reality.  And like RA Guy, we (and others) need to see our assistive devices as marvelous inventions that open the door to freedom and self-reliance. They liberate us and save us from being condemned to a life of isolation and dependence.

So twirl that cane, scoot that scooter, and smile with the knowledge that you’re members of a secret club of true super heroes with more gadgets and gizmos than Batman.

Have a good weekend. Thanks for checking in.

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