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Newfound hope for visually-impaired people


The Al-Shifa Eye Trust announced on Tuesday that it will donate artificial vision devices to blind or partially-sighted students with outstanding educational records.
The device will also be provided to visually impaired citizens who want to excel in their respective fields. The trust added that with the wearable AI reader, anyone could read texts and books, the morning paper, recognise loved ones, shop, and enjoy a better quality of life by living more independently.
“Blindness will no more be a disability in personal development,” said Al Shifa Trust President Maj-Gen (retd) Rehmat Khan, while presenting the device called ‘ OrCam MyEye’ as a gift to Syed Sardar Ahmed Pirzada, the first blind journalist of Pakistan. He said that the device will not only make people with varying levels of vision loss independent, but will also make them contributing members of the society at large.
Khan said that Al-Shifa Trust is the first to bring the device to Pakistan, and in response, donors are coming from several areas of the country to sponsor it for people who have potential but are visually impaired.
President Al-Shifa Foundation of North America Tahir Zafar said the organisation hoped to empower the blind, and to facilitate patients with irreversible vision loss in the Light House – a rehabilitation centre working to help patients overcome the challenges of low vision and blindness. “To further improve facilities at the centre, we have acquired OrCam MyEye for five thousand dollars,” he said.
He said that the device was compatible with all levels of vision loss, and also works well for people with reading difficulty or reading fatigue. “The devices empower people with vision challenges and allow them to access visual information,” he added.
“It is a revolutionary voice-activated device that can instantly read to you text from a book, smartphone screen or any other surface, recognize faces, help you shop on your own, work more efficiently, and live a more independent life. It conveys visual information audibly, in real-time and offline,” he said.
The reader is currently being used by tens of thousands of people across the globe, and in more than 40 countries and 20 languages, with users ranging in age from 6 to 100 years.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 30th, 2021.

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