Today's Spotlight is on eSight.
Who is eSight?
eSight transforms the way in which individuals with legal blindness experience the world around them, by allowing them to actually see it. As an organization, eSight is guided by the fundamental principle that Everyone Deserves to See. And this bold vision has been made a reality with its breakthrough pair of electronic glasses that allow the legally blind to actually see, be mobile, and participate in virtually all Activities of Daily Living.
What is eSight?
eSight is a breakthrough pair of electronic glasses that enables individuals living with legal blindness and low vision to actually see. Crucially, it provides sight, without the need for surgery. When a person with legal blindness puts eSight on, they are able to see in virtually the same manner as someone who is "normally sighted". eSight is the only clinically validated wearable device in existence that allows individuals with legal blindness to see, be mobile, work for a living, study, and engage in virtually all facets of their everyday life. These incredibly powerful electronic glasses record high-speed, high-resolution video from a camera positioned in the centre of eSight, to capture what the wearer is looking at in real time. Proprietary algorithms enhance the high definition video feed and displays it on two near-to-eye OLED screens in front of the user's eyes with unprecedented visual clarity and without any perceptible latency or delay. eSight's patented Bioptic Tilt capability also allows wearers to be completely mobile while using the device; so they can be completely independent and participate in virtually all Activities of Daily Living. Other features available to eSight users to maximize their visual experience include: unprecedented control over contrast, focus, and brightness; magnification (24x); and hyper-connectivity with Bluetooth, WiFI and HDMI capabilities.
eSight is available in 42 countries (and counting) An individual can try eSight, risk-free, before they make a full-purchase.
For further information on how to start one's eSight journey, please reach out to one of our Vision Advocates at eSightEyewear.com/Next-Steps or call 1.855.8eSight (1.855.837.4448).
Today is #WorldBrailleDay where we celebrate Braille Literacy and Learning!
We all know what Braille is....
We've seen it on just about every signage on doors, walls, and a multitude of other places.
While I was surfing Twitter I came across this tweet:
This made me sad, these teachers and counselors forget a major group that's usually dependent on Braille - the Deafblind.
Sure, there are some Deafblind individuals who can rely on their limited hearing for auditory input from audiobooks and screenreaders. Then there are some Deafblind who can read enlarged print (like myself). But that doesn't help those who don't have this capability.
Did you know that many Blind and Deafblind are lagging behind in school and colleges because their textbooks and materials aren't readily available in a Braille format? Thanks to technology like the refreshable braille display this problem is being remedied to a point.
These refreshable braille displays are not cheap - they range from $3,500 to $15,000, depending on the number of characters displayed. Some are complete "notetakers" with computing capabilities, while others plug into a USB port on your computer and acts as a keyboard/screenreader.
Thanks to an organization called iCanConnect - the National Deafblind Equipment Distribution Program - Deafblind individuals can obtain equipment and software to help "connect" with their family, friends and the world around them.
Deborah Kendrick summed up why we need Braille in her article in the Braille Monitor and I agree!
Can y'all help me out and support braille literacy through the Braille Institute?
In 2001, Dr Dean Shibata, section chief of neuroradiology at the University of Washington, presented his findings on how deaf people “hear” music.
According to his research results, deaf people have a similar experience in feeling as other people have in hearing the music. This is because of both groups of population process the music in the same part of the brain.
“The brain is incredibly adaptable. In someone who is deaf, the young brain takes advantage of valuable real estate in the brain by processing vibrations in the part of the brain that would otherwise be used to process sound,” Dr. Shibata said the same year at the 87th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
Real life inspirations
Although this scientifically explained how deaf could hear music, the notion was familiar to most through the story of Beethoven. In 1796, he started losing his hearing and in 1801, he lost it completely. However, that didn’t stop him from composing and he created one of his most famous composition in that period the Moonlight Sonata and The Ninth Symphony.
Although Beethoven became an inspiration to musician since then and even today, in 1995 another person won people’s hearts. Heather Whitestone, a contestant at the Miss America Pageant danced and impressed the audience with her moves, and in tune with the music while being deaf.
Janine Roebuck, Britain’s opera mezzo-soprano, start losing her hearing while studying at the Royal Northern College of Music and then continued at the Paris Conservatoire and the National Opera Studio in London. She kept it a secret for 10 years and performed brilliantly because she was afraid she would lose the roles or get simple ones.
Tired of hiding her problem, she admitted it and left everyone in awe. Since that, she started working with the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) and became of the most vocal members of the deaf community.
How do they "hear"?
Dr Shabata said: "These findings suggest that the experience deaf people have when ‘feeling' music is similar to the experience other people have when hearing the music. The perception of the musical vibrations by the deaf is likely every bit as real as the equivalent sounds since they are ultimately processed in the same part of the brain."
The way these vibrations work is that they help deaf people feel the bass. Namely, in order for this to happen, deaf people have to turn the music extremely loud. This volume would be unbearable for those with intact hearing and they’d have to wear earplugs. The vibrations coming from the bass are giving the rhythm and deaf person can sense the tempo.
The study, conducted by Dr Shabata in 2001, included 10 people deaf from birth and 11 who had no hearing loss at all. The participants were asked to hold the vibration pipe and inform Shabata when they felt them. The Doctor used brain scans to detect the signals and their transmission in the brain. This method helped him find out that the deaf and non-hard-of-hearing processed the music signals in the same part of the brain.
Another important conclusion came out of this study, and it regards the loss of hearing or deafness in young children. Due to the same processing characteristics as the non-hard-of-hearing person, deaf children should be exposed to music as early as possible. Since their young brains are still in development, they may better adjust to the stimuli and later present improved sensation to musical themes and variations.
Emoti-Chair and the vibes of music
Prior to ‘70s, deaf people didn’t have many options when it came to hearing aid technology. However, today there are many available devices and others still in development.
In 2009, a demonstration in a small Toronto club left quite an impression on the world. News all over the globe reported the unbelievable devices called Emoti-Chairs which allowed deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals in the audience to experience the performance on stage. Since then, twelve of these chairs were used during the symphonic performance in 2013, and today they’re commercially available.
The Emoti-Chair translates audio signals into vibrotactile ones. Namely, it uses music, digital patching and speakers in the process of turning the sound into a sensation for deaf people. There are even performances specifically intended for deaf persons which use these chairs.
Visualization of the beat
Deaf people don’t shy away from music. They’ve been an inspiration to all when it comes to this type of art. They sing, play instruments, compose and even sing through sign language. Instead of deciding to give up, they started listening by feeling the beat. For example, drums are can be felt because they’re loud and give off great vibrations.
However, what helps them better identify the music is the visual aids. Many performances use lights and video representations which can help deaf people understand the music. This visualization is using lines and colors to highlights the tempo and bass which is mostly enough to garner music. There is also the BW Dance app which helps deaf and hard-of-hearing to feel and dance to music.
Liron Gino, a graduate of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, has come up with the Vibeat jewellery for the deaf and hard-of-hearing people. Actually, a device, this set of jewellery helps them feel music through vibrations. It consists of a necklace, bracelet and pin with round disk-like units. They jointly create an "alternative sensory system" used to convert music to vibrations.
“Music is one of the deepest and most primal forms of human communication, and its ability to convey emotion and expression make it into an invaluable tool,” said Gino.
In the end
The technological advancements have come a long and amazing way in the recent years. This is because of the remarkable individuals who provided inspiration and were pioneers. The perception of how the brain works and sensibility with which deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals feel the sound have helped shape the innovation process. More importantly, scientific achievements will certainly bring new and exciting ways for music to be heard even where the silence rules.
I was asked to test out a new iOs App for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people called MyEar. It's a speech-to-text App to help in communication.
MyEar came about when a CODA (Child of Deaf Adult) saw how much his Deaf father was struggling to lipread day in and out. He decided to create an App to help his dad.
I think this is a great App! Even if you're a skilled lipreader - you'll still only catch about 30% of the conversation. Not fair is it? MyEar will help transcribe what's being said - it's not perfect - and they state that clearly - but I've found it to be much, much better than other Apps available out there.
This will help in various situations:
Here's a video demonstration on how it works:
Pretty simple right! No advertising,, no asking people to download the same app, no popups, no more buying "minutes"!
One drawback I found with it - you need an internet connection for it to work, so sometimes it won't work on my iPad. But, very few places don't have public WiFi these days.
So, check out their Facebook Page or download it yourself with this link:
Please Note: This is entirely my opinion and may not reflect others who are Deafblind.
There was a recent court case where a Deafblind man, Paul McGann, demanded that Cinemark Theaters provide him with a Tactile Interpreter so he can attend "Gone Girl".
Now I'm wondering how this would work.....
There'll be two interpreters to take turns - not just the dialogue, but screen actions, descriptions of people, places and so on and so forth.
Some of you have seen Captioning - print descriptions of every sound happening:
[dog barks in distance]
[paper rustling on desk]
Then there's audio description for people with vision loss - describing nonverbal happenings on screen, scenery, etc:
Now a Tactile interpreter would have to do BOTH these jobs and the two switch turns (usually every 20 - 30 minutes).
It's just my opinion that this guy is asking for a lot and expecting a lot.
Maybe he can't get access to TASL for movies at home, so he goes after the "big guy" with the money? I don't know his reasoning and I don't care.
I'm sorry, but just be like many other Deaf and Deafblind person who don't want, or can't access, the standard captioning service at the theater and wait for it to come out on DVD and watch it at home.
Pretty soon there'll be technology for Captioning to Braille for television watching available, and then probably adapted for movie theaters as well.
Now I'm all for equal accessibility and everything, but right now, this Deafblind woman is baffled and bothered by this lawsuit. In the current state of things it is an "undue burden" on the owner of that particular theater - not the Parent Company. Sure, the lawsuit names Cinemark, but they'lll just pass it off onto the small business owner of the Pennsylvania theater. If they don't pass it off and absorb the costs themselves, and other DB folks request it - the costs are going to be passed off to the consumers. Moviegoers already pay a ridiculous amount to get into a movie, how would they feel with another price hike?
So, have patience grasshopper.....technology will improve to where we all can enjoy movies without any waiting, without any requests, without any barriers.
Many disabled people can safely and effectively look after themselves, while living independent lives, however, achieving the most effective home security can pose some extra difficulties to those with an impairment.
Burglars and home invaders are not the types of people that are likely to have qualms about victimizing a disabled person. However, with some diligence and planning, anyone, no matter what their disability, can achieve home security to an extremely high level. While everyone’s needs and abilities are different, some general tips have been outlined to stop intruders.
Keep Everything Within Reach
While most disabled people are mobile and self-sufficient, some may still find it difficult to reach key items. If locks and deadbolts are too high, then they need to be moved within easier reach. The same goes for an alarm system control panel. You should also keep a mobile phone within easy reach at all times.
Don't Be Afraid To Ask For Help
You may pride yourself on your independence, but that doesn't mean you can't ask others for help. A family member or friendly neighbor is always a great option to make the most of, especially if they have some basic DIY skills. They will be able to assist with installing a security camera, fixing windows or doors, or any other jobs.
Another benefit of having a good relationship with a neighbor is that you can call on them if there is anything suspicious happening on your property. If they are home they can be around in seconds to help. Most people are happy to do this, especially if it's only a few steps away.
If you truly feel like your home is about to be broken into, or somebody is already inside, then don't hesitate, call the police straight away. People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, or those with speech difficulties can text rather than call, however, they generally have to be registered for this service in advance.
Get A Professional Handyman
Your doors and windows are the key access points to your home. This means they should be sturdy and shut and lock securely. Now if you can't find someone to help with maintenance for your doors, windows, and locks, as well as other tasks, then just contact a professional. Make sure they understand any limitations you may have so that they can create the best solution for your situation.
Use A Security System
There are many security systems that are optimized for the disabled. For those with a sight impairment, there are voice activated systems. For those with hearing loss, it is possible to get a strobe light alarm. Regardless of what your disability may be, there is likely to be a system that you can use without issue.
Remember, you want to optimize the visibility of your property. It can be difficult for those with limited mobility to investigate suspicious occurrences. Setting up multiple security cameras can give a panoramic view of your property. The feed from these can be sent straight to a phone or computer. A video doorbell is also available which may help. This means you will know everything going on around your property, and when the doorbell rings you can see who is there no matter where you are in the house.
Consider A Dog
Dogs can have special benefits for disabled people, such as guide dogs for the blind, and service dogs for those with limited mobility. Not only can these dogs transform the life of a disabled person, but they can also provide invaluable home security. The sight or sound of a dog is generally enough to ward off most burglars, not to mention giving advance warning to their owner. If you already own a dog, then that's fantastic, if not, consider the ways they could potentially assist you, as well as improve your home security.
Don't Be A Victim
You want your home to be your castle, where you feel safe at all time. Just as you don't let your disability hold you back in other areas of your life, don't let it hold you back from achieving excellent security. Taking these tips into consideration is the first step on your path to optimizing your home for security, safety, and peace of mind.
About the Author:
Joanna Sommer is the Senior Editor for InformedMag and is passionate about security and tech. She has been working in the home safety and security field for 5 years. Joanna loves to travel and enjoys going to hot yoga and Barre classes. She is dedicated to creating articles that both educate and help people make an informed purchasing decision.