A Life-Changing Device for People with a Visual Disability

OrCam assistive technology device can help people with a visual disability to excel in the workplace.

Requiring special glasses for a visual disability can affect many different aspects of one’s life. Specifically, it can prevent a person from finding a job or excelling at their current position.

According to statistics done by the American Community Survey in 2014, the number of non-institutionalized people ages 16 through 75+, all races, regardless of ethnicity with all education levels in the United States reported to have a visual disability were 7,358,400. The number of people employed from the 21-64 age group, male or females, all races, regardless of ethnicity, with all education levels in the United States in 2014 reported 1,492,700 employed. Therefore, for working age adults reporting significant vision loss, only 40.4% were employed in 2014.

The OrCam device can help change those numbers. By giving people the independence to read on their own, people that require glasses for a visual disability can now return to the workforce knowing they can independently read the documents, emails, and files necessary to excel at their job.

Bill Adams, OrCam user, says that the OrCam device has made his life easier especially at work. Bill does a lot of clerical work for his job. When his boss hands him a document that he needs to read, he used to have to walk back to his computer and scan it in. With the OrCam MyEye, Bill can read any document that his boss hands him right there on the spot “I used to have to bring it to my office, scan it into the computer, run OCR using Adobe and then have to use a bunch of key commands to have Window Eyes read it to me, now it is simple press of the trigger button.”

Employers also see the difference the OrCam can make in the office. “Using an OrCam MyEye at work helps visually impaired employees by assisting them in reading work related materials, identifying co-workers to avoid embarrassing social situations as well as increasing the employee’s self-confidence and ability to cope with more tasks easily,” says Sivan Wagner of the HR team at driver assistive system producer Mobileye. Having recognized the advantages, the OrCam can have in the workplace, several vocational rehabilitation agencies have started working with OrCam and recommend the device to their users.