Expanding the use of assistive technology, the Chicago Lighthouse location in Glenview now has a new technology center that aims to better the lives of those with low vision or the visually impaired.
Inside the Chicago Lighthouse North is the new Sandy Forsythe Assistive Technology Center. A center made possible by Sandy and her husband.
"I have a brother that has macular degeneration, my husband developed this macular degeneration also several years ago," said Chicago Lighthouse Board Member and Donor Sandy Forsythe.
That personal connection has made Sandy and her family passionate about the mission at the lighthouse. Opening the center now allows them to help others.
"There is something for everyone no matter what their vision is. If it is low vision, if they are totally blind we can help anyone with any type of vision problem," said Forsythe.
Thirty different devices fill the room offering a comprehensive range of assistive technology.
"So we have a wide range of different devices all of which are to help those who are visually impaired carry out their day-to-day tasks. Things like reading and writing and watching television. So there are lots of devices to help," said Chicago Lighthouse Assistive Technology Manager Luke Scriven.
Assistive Technology Manager Luke Scriven took us inside to demonstrate with his program participant Aline.
First they checked out the E-sight electronic glasses.
"We have a control panel right here; this has different buttons to carry out different functions," said Scriven.
Functions include magnification to enlarge, to change the color, manual focus and even plug a television cable into the control panel to watch TV.
Another device for the home is the electronic magnifier.
"What we have is a camera on top and it is connected to a screen in front of us and whatever we put under the camera we can see on the screen," said Scriven.
Two knobs allow you to control text size, color and enable speaking text.
Last, the hand held electronic magnifier allows you to take technology on the go. Controlling color, text size, audible reading and the ability to use touch screen.
"It has a battery built in you can take it with you whenever you want to read in a restaurant in a store and things like that," Scriven said.
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