Coffee with Kalari: Love is Blind

This article is part of a weekly series written by Kalari, a writer, athlete, mother and employee of The Chicago Lighthouse who is visually impaired. She shares her perspective on a variety of topics in order to build community.

Coffee with kalari logo

As you may know from my previous posts, I am an advocate for assistive technology and the ways it can help people who are blind or visually impaired live with greater independence. One device in particular that has helped me is the OrCam MyEye Pro. I am proud to be part of the OrCam Dream Team, raising awareness about how OrCam technology levels the playing field for people who are blind or visually impaired. With this small yet powerful device, I can identify faces, colors, products, money, and read text on any surface. This allows me to be more independent in all aspects of my life, from working and shopping to helping my children with their homework.

Now that it’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air, I wanted to share this article by OrCam about the ways in which the device can help with dating, as well as some fun and safe virtual date ideas. Check it out below!

Originally published by The OrCam Blog

Love is Blind: Virtual Dating for the Blind

A young woman and man holding hands and sitting at a table in a cafe

For blind and visually impaired people, emotional connections run deeper from the start. Dating while blind or visually impaired can be challenging. So how are blind people supposed to look for love? The answer is the same way everyone else does–with virtual dating.

Finding A Date: Apps & Online Dating
dating apps
We all know that swiping is superficial. And unfortunately, many popular dating apps (such as Tinder and Bumble) aren’t compatible with the Voiceover app, which can be a challenge for those with low vision. But there are apps out there that making dating accessible to the visually impaired, such as Facebook Dating. This app is used and promoted by blind YouTube sensation Molly Burke in her video “The Truth About Dating As A Woman With A Disability“. Because most people are already on Facebook, and as a platform Facebook is committed to accessibility, this is a great dating option for visually impaired people at this time.

Another option is websites. Sites such as Match.com and eHarmony.com are great options since they require detailed answers to many questions that take a long time to complete. This helps weed out the people who aren’t serious about finding a long-term match and provides legible information that a blind person can read to learn about someone’s character.

Dating For The Blind: Meeting Through Virtual Calls
woman in gray sweater drinking coffee while virtual dating for the blind
Virtual dating can be a great way to get to know someone and keep your dating life vibrant. Some date ideas to keep your virtual dates fun and interesting:

  • Watch a funny video together at the same time.
  • Buy a new flavor of ice cream and taste it “together” during the date.
  • Visit a virtual museum.
  • Choose a TED talk to watch and discuss.
  • Play a game of online Battleship in which each person tries to guess the other’s board.
  • Follow a recipe together.

After The Date
couple wearing face masks drinking milk shake after successful virtual dating
If your date goes well and you want to go on a second one, you’ll want to remember this person’s face. If you have an OrCam MyEye, you can program it to remember their face using the facial recognition feature next time you see them. This way, your OrCam MyEye will seamlessly announce their presence with real-time identification.

It will also recognize colors so you can compliment your date on what they’re wearing. In addition, the OrCam MyEye can be extremely helpful during the date. In restaurants and cafes, using simple and intuitive hand gestures, the device will instantly read menus out loud to both you and your date. The text reading feature can also help you navigate your way through any city by reading street signs.

Shopping for any item in a store during the date can be done with the barcode recognition feature. The device will also help you to pay with cash anywhere you go to, as it can instantly recognize money bills so you always know how much you’re paying and how much change you are getting. The OrCam MyEye can do all of these features and more without any requirement of an internet connection.

To schedule a demonstration of the OrCam MyEye Pro, or to learn about special pricing available for a limited-time only, please call The Chicago Lighthouse’s Tools for Living Store at (800) 919-3375.

 

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