OrCam MyEye 2 levels the playing field and provides greater independence for students with vision impairments
When Paula Sprecher tried the OrCam MyEye 2 for the first time at The Chicago Lighthouse, she was brought to tears. “I asked if I could try one just to walk around the retail store and I was using it to read passages from books and different papers. I was tearing up because it seemed to be so freeing,” says Paula, who is legally blind. “If I had a magnifying glass with me, I wouldn’t have been able to see all that in such small writing and in such dim light. I was tearing up because I thought, what a wonderful product to be able to offer.”
The OrCam MyEye 2 enables individuals who are blind or visually impaired to read text, recognize faces, identify products, money, and more…all packed into a tiny device that can be attached to any pair of glasses. As a teacher of the visually impaired and a mother of two daughters who also have vision impairments, Paula has experienced first-hand the incredible benefits of the device for people of various ages. Since purchasing the OrCam MyEye 2, she has shared it with her youngest daughter, Aihua, who is currently a freshman in high school.
Aihua has Leber Congenital Amaurosis, an eye disease that primarily affects the retina. She does not have enough vision to benefit from any kind of magnification. Aihua states that her life has been changed by the device because she is now able to access more reading materials than ever before. “It’s a lot more accurate than the other software I’ve tried [for reading text out loud],” she says. She uses the reading function to read printed materials that are not accessible, including class handouts and notes. Paula echoes the immense benefits of the device for students with vision impairments “I think that if students were able to have this device, it would open so many doors for them and allow them to be more independent. They’d have access to a wider variety of information right at their fingertips without having to ask someone.”
Aside from the reading function, Aihua also enjoys using the color identification feature to pick out her clothing and outfits independently. “Before we had the device, I’d go and match up her clothes for her. She’s 15, so she doesn’t want mom doing that stuff,” says Paula.
During the COVID-19 pandemic and the current Stay-at-Home order, the device allows Paula and Aihua to be entertained by reading books, magazines, and other printed materials anywhere within their home. Paula notes that prior to purchasing the device, she had to do all of this reading on her large CCTV, which is located in her basement. Aihua also finds the device helpful now while she is learning remotely and does not always have a teacher nearby to help her with reading class materials.
Paula already has future plans for using the device after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Once she’s back at school, she plans on using the facial recognition feature, which can be programmed to recognize 100 faces, to identify students and fellow staff members. “[At school] I’m always smiling, but I don’t know who I’m smiling at unless they say something!” she says. She also wants to use it when visiting attractions such as museums and zoos with Aihua. “There is so much signage that is inaccessible to us that contains information such as history or information on the animal habitats,” she says. “It’d be really nice to access information that other people are accessing.”
To learn more about the OrCam MyEye 2 or to purchase, visit our Tools for Living Store.