For Blind People, Independence Is More Than a National Holiday

2022-07-01 | By Orcam Staff

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For Blind People, Independence Is More Than a National Holiday - OrCam

Around the globe, countries celebrate their independence every year. The freeing of a colony from a mother country and a nation’s first opportunity to independently govern themselves is something everyone can understand and relate to. In the United States of America, Independence Day is celebrated on July 4th. In Brazil, independence is celebrated on September 7th, and in Ukraine on August 24th. However, for people who are blind, independence is not just about a national holiday–it’s a daily need to strive for.

Striving to Be More Independent

According to the World Health Organization, there are about 284 million people in the world who are visually impaired, and 39 million people are blind. Many blind people rely on friends, family members, and even strangers to help them get through their day. While some people have no issue asking for help, many of us can understand how asking someone to assist you with a task that you know everyone else has no trouble with can be uncomfortable.

cooking pasta

Activities of daily living (ADLs or ADL) is a term used in healthcare to refer to people’s daily self-care activities. Common ADLs include dressing, bathing, and feeding ourselves. In an article published by the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH), visual impairment is associated with a greater risk of developing ADL limitations. In a subsequent study, the AJPH found that a person who is aware of the progressive loss of visual acuteness may have feelings of insecurity, anxiety, loss of independence, and changes in social functioning, leading to depression.


Unfortunately, depression associated with loss of vision is more common than we realize, and it often stems from the realization that the person will soon no longer be able to accomplish daily tasks on their own without depending on the help of others.

Regaining Independence

Reading, recognizing family and friends, shopping, or traveling come naturally to most of us. We don’t take notice of all the things we do with no effort on a daily basis, furthermore to all the details our mind instantly read. From reading a street sign to a text message to a recipe or a bedtime story to a child, being able to read is a critical part of our day-to-day lives. For a blind person, this isn’t an option and Braille is just not enough.


Although there are tips and small solutions that help with small tasks as we show in our latest blind cooking blog, today there is assistive technology that can enable blind or visually impaired people to be more independent. The OrCam MyEye, is a tiny device with a camera that attaches to the user’s glasses with a magnet and is controlled by the movement of a person’s head. With just the point of a finger, OrCam MyEye scans full pages of text and reads it back to you via audio.


Not only that, but it can also recognize faces, money notes, colors, and objects. And now, with the latest Smart Reading feature, reading via artificial intelligence is more efficient than ever. With Smart Reading, users can locate phone numbers, and headlines, or find a specific word with a quick verbal command. So if you are looking at your phone bill, you can just ask the OrCam MyEye to “find the amount” and it will tell you the payment that is due without having to listen to all the fine print.


While it doesn’t replace natural sight, OrCam MyEye certainly gives back a degree of independence that is automatically lost with visual impairment.

This Independence Day, let’s think about more than national independence. Give the gift of independence to yourself or a loved one with the OrCam MyEye assistive device that makes reading, shopping and working accessible once again.

Are you ready to take a step toward your independence?