Thanks to a local fundraising effort, 15-year old Connor Simpson, who has been blind since birth, received an OrCam MyEye 2 artificial vision device, which will help him to lead a far more independent and mobile life. With his OrCam MyEye 2, Connor will be able to read any printed or digital text, as well as recognise faces and products.
Connor and his family first had a demonstration of the OrCam MyEye in September 2017, and while they loved the device and thought it could make a huge difference to Connor’s quality of life, they were unsure if they could afford it. This is when local charity worker Amy Shearer stepped in to coordinate a fundraising campaign for Connor. Amy knew Connor and his family from the youth club for children with disabilities that she helps to run called Friends4Ever.
Amy says that as soon as Connor’s mum told her about the OrCam she knew she had to help Connor get one. She says, “I have known Connor for the past 7 years, since he and his family started to attend Friends4Ever. Connor’s parents are amazing people and do everything they can to make Connor’s quality of life better – so I thought I’d give them a wee hand.”
She continues, “it’s going to make a huge change to his life and give him a whole new lease of independence.”
Connor has now received his OrCam MyEye 2 and is enjoying using it at his school, the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh, as well as taking it out and about with him.
Connor’s mother Janice recalls the first time her son was able to read and order from a restaurant menu, weeks after receiving the device: “An activity as simple as reading a menu and ordering from it is something so many of us take for granted, but Connor had never been able to do it. It was a really lovely moment.”
“Before he had no sight at all and it was very difficult for him to access papers, magazines or books. Now he can read anything he chooses, without having to get a braille version or an audiobook.”