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Toinette Hodges
Pocket Reading Device Printer Friendly Version
My son is in fifth grade. He is dyslexic. It takes him at least 3 times longer to read materials than other children his age. He usually does not comprehend what he reads. However, he is very smart. If someone reads to him, he understands very well and is able to answer any question asked him about the material. I have to read everything to him in the afternoons and evenings to prepare him to go to school the next day and be able to pass. He is very self conscious and hates to be made fun of for his lack of reading skills. When the teacher has to read to him in front of the class, he gets very embarrassed. Many times he gets bad grades because he does not want to ask questions or get help from the teacher because of his embarrassment.
The invention I would like to see become a reality is as follows: A hand-held, portable, small machine that a person can scan reading material with, one line at a time. The machine will have a computer chip that will read the information and repeat the information in audible sound to the reader. This sound should be able to come to the reader through an earplug. This device needs to be small and inconspicuous. I am thinking it would look like a pocket tape recorder with earplugs and another cord with a small reading attachment that would be used to scan with. Or possibly, instead of a second cord, the scanner would be built into the pocket sized device and the entire device would be passed over the reading material to scan it. My son could use this device from now on. He could read the newspaper, directions on packages, books, etc. It would open up a whole new world for him and help him to be the successful adult that I know he can become. Will someone creative please help me make this a reality!!

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Richard A. Black
Auto-Sock Printer Friendly Version
While water skiing I tore my left hamstring. It takes a long time to heal, and putting on a sock in a conventional way is impossible. I use a round plastic food container that has a circumference slightly larger than the width of my foot. I stretch the sock opening so that it is supported and held open by the neck of the container. I then place it on the floor, opening towards the ceiling. Once 25% of my foot is shoved through the opening, the sock is released and collapses onto my foot. I am then able to use cooking tongs to reach the sock and pull it further towards the ankle, so that I can eventually reach it with my hands and fully pull it on.
I am certain there are a number of individuals who for various reasons can't bend far enough to put on socks, and having an assistant around all the time is impractical. Or absolutely dangerous, when she is still sound asleep and extremely adept at remembering the precise words she used reminding you not to even try skiing, especially after you had enjoyed great quantities of the fermented spring water of the Rockies and you exited the boat with a back flip shouting "y'all watch this!".
With a little creative refinement, like a more ergonomic receptacle than Tupperware, and a better grasping device than hot dog tongs, this idea could be very useful to those who cannot touch their toes and wish to avoid the hassle and expense of a personal assistant regardless of their motivation (although I would suspect mothers would be more sympathetic than wives). I suspect an extension device that requires little or no bending over would even be met with greater enthusiasm. Unlike Tupperware and frankfurter grabbers, this device does not need to be dishwasher proof.
Reward: One free prototype sample ASAP. 

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