“Never before has there been a piece of technology that can be tossed in a purse to be available, with very little setup, when I need to read a document” says 24 year old Jessica Bonish. When she was 5 years old, Jessica, from Saskatchewan, was diagnosed with benign optic gliomas. Over the years, she has tried many technologies to help with her vision loss. Although some of them have worked, she says they are clunky and/or still require her to do the reading, rather than having the material read to her. Jessica was chosen to participate in an OrCam MyEye trial with 4 other young people from her city. Little did she realize the effect it would have on her life. After trying out the OrCam MyEye, she was thrilled because reading print material, which once was hard for her, was now simple and read on the spot with the help of the OrCam MyEye. “Before, I would need to ask for the material in an electronic format to read at home, or I would need someone to read it to me. Now, I can read the material when it is given to me,” says Jessica. Jessica graduated with a degree in social work in 2015. Although she is no longer in school, she says that the OrCam MyEye would have served her well during her studies as she would not have needed to rely on her parents to read academic journals and textbooks that were not available in an accessible format. As a social worker, the OrCam MyEye is extremely helpful for Jessica as she can easily read manuals and client information which helps her prepare for her week’s work. In her profession, it is not always possible to receive materials ahead of time or to receive materials in an electronic format. The OrCam MyEye helps Jessica be better prepared to meet the needs of her clients, as she will be better able to review any materials that they present. The OrCam MyEye has allowed her to read at the same time as her colleagues without having to ask for the material in a different format or having someone else read to her. “Though I have only had the OrCam MyEye for a few months, I am already thrilled with the convenience and the independence that it offers” says Jessica.” For instance, I received an employee manual on my first day of employment with a new organization. Rather than having to request the manual in PDF, I was able to sit at the table and begin reading. Further, at another job, I received intake information about the children I would be serving. Because this information is of a sensitive nature, it isn’t ideal to send via email. Fortunately, I had my OrCam MyEye with me; thus, I was able to sit with my colleagues and review the information with them.” Jessica feels blessed to be amongst the first in Canada to receive an OrCam MyEye. “Because of the OrCam MyEye, no longer will visually impaired people be forced to wait until they have access to a computer, or request that a fully sighted person read aloud the document” she says “as more people gain access to OrCams, we will notice youth on a more equal playing field as their peers.”
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