New Resources for the Blind That Enhance Daily Independence

2020-02-19 | By Orcam Staff

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New Resources for the Blind That Enhance Daily Independence - OrCam

According to a study by the World Health Organization, there are 285 million blind people worldwide. What many people don’t know is that people who are defined as blind are not always completely blind. Meaning they have very limited vision. However, they can barely see to the extent that they are considered legally blind by the authorities. These are people who are defined as having low vision, even if they are legally blind. When it comes to the number of people living with low vision, the numbers are a lot higher than those living with blindness. People living with both conditions are people who can benefit from the available resources for the blind that are offered to the public, both by governments and by private organizations.

What Does the Government Offer?

Gray Concrete Building designed as old goverment building

There are various services that governments offer to people who are blind or have low vision. The US government, for example, offers special services to visually impaired students. They also provide online information to people with low vision of all ages, and even offer living services for elderly people with low vision. There are even organizations that are only for people with low vision who have served in the military. Only US Army Veterans who have low vision can reach out to the Blind Veterans Association.

As you can see, the US government has created a number of different available resources for the blind and visually impaired population. Besides specific departments, the US government has also legislated laws that help people who are visually impaired with daily life, including laws regarding accessibility, prevention of discrimination during recruitment and employment, financial benefits and more.

Private Organizations and Foundations

People in a meeting at an organization that provides resources for the blind

There are many private organizations that help people who are blind and visually impaired. These organizations provide a large variety of helpful resources for the blind. Each one of them provides helpful benefits to its members and sometimes even to their family members. They basically can be divided into two categories. The first provides guidance and support. The second helps in obtaining equipment, devices, and even guide animals.

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Technology-Based Resources for the Blind

There are many available technology solutions that help people who are blind or visually impaired increase their independence. More than a few tools that have been developed over time for people with low vision have been modified with technology. Some have even been enhanced and upgraded with entirely new technology-based features. For example, the white cane which has been helping people with low vision navigate has been upgraded in a way that enhances its performance. Using sensors, it alerts the user of obstacles in front of them by way of sound.

A woman reading a book with a wearble device attached to her glasses

On the other hand, there are new resources for the blind that have never existed in the past. The electronic devices market is coming forth with many solutions that amaze consumers worldwide. One company has been using state of the art machine learning and artificial intelligence to create assistive devices for people with low vision worldwide. OrCam Technologies was founded in 2010 and has been helping people with low vision improve their quality of life since its founding.

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OrCam Technologies

OrCam is the proud inventor of OrCam MyEye 2, a unique, miniature, lightweight and wearable device that can attach to almost any pair of glasses. Features include reading text, recognizing faces, money notes, colors, barcodes of shelf products and more. Since it does not require an internet connection, it can be used anywhere.

Tens of thousands of users worldwide have regained their independence using it. OrCam users have been hosted on Dr. Phil, Steve Harvey Show, and Good Morning America.