OrCam Alder Hey donation image

Assistive technology specialist OrCam Technologies has donated pioneering devices to Alder Hey Children’s Charity to improve the lives of children with visual impairments and reading difficulties being cared for at the Liverpool hospital.

Five patients at the hospital were identified as being able to benefit from the OrCam Read and OrCam MyEye devices. The patients are aged from 12 to 17 years old and include children with degenerative eyesight conditions and learning difficulties.

These included some children with dyslexia, mild to moderate low vision and other reading challenges who were gifted the OrCam Read, a first-of-its-kind handheld reader that reads text aloud – from any printed surface or digital screen – in real time. The personal AI digital reader captures full pages and screens of text and helps people of all ages, including young children, read and enjoy books, comics and websites more independently.

Other children were gifted with the OrCam MyEye, a wearable assistive device that reads aloud printed and digital text – from any surface – and seamlessly recognises faces, products and more in real time. The device delivers increased independence for patients who are blind, visually impaired or have reading fatigue – empowering them to study, to work, and navigate throughout their daily lives. Using the OrCam MyEye will mean that young patients visiting hospital can recognise those caring for them, take a more active part in lessons and homework, and enjoy books and games with more ease.

Fiona Ashcroft, Chief Executive from Alder Hey Children’s Charity, said: “We’re extremely grateful to have received such a fantastic donation from OrCam Technologies. The technology will be of huge benefit, helping five of our patients with visual impairments and reading difficulties to read and learn as part of their ongoing development as they progress into later life.”

The five patients were invited with their families to the hospital’s eye clinic at the Ophthalmology Department and presented with their devices on Wednesday 20 April 2022. A training workshop with OrCam took place with patients on how to use the “revolutionary” assistive technology and the proven outcomes for patients with reading, learning and sight loss challenges.

Irie Meltzer, UK Regional Director at OrCam Technologies, added: “It’s been a real privilege working with Alder Hey Children’s Charity and the hospital’s ophthalmology department to donate our innovative technology to the young hospital patients at Alder Hey.

“We’re excited to learn all about how the five patients will benefit from our ground-breaking technology that will provide them with meaningful support for their vision and reading challenges. Our devices, OrCam Read and OrCam MyEye, continue to change the lives of people with visual and reading challenges all around the world, helping them to increase their independence and confidence in daily life.”

OrCam is planning a follow-up session in the months ahead to visit the five hospital patients and provide ongoing support, including answering any questions the parents may have regarding operation and utilisation of the OrCam Read and OrCam MyEye devices.

Michelle Catterson, Executive Headteacher at Moon Hall School and Vice Chair of board at the British Dyslexia Association, recently wrote a guest article for AT Today about how OrCam assistive technology has been enhancing the learning experience for students with dyslexia by giving them greater confidence and allowing them to fully participate in the classroom.

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