New technology keeps blind and visually impaired people in the workforce

- “I have been fascinated with NASA since I was a child,” said Ron Foster.

Foster grew up in LaMargue. His older brother was working for the space agency when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.

“I worked in mission control. We built the control center, the second generation of the control center,” Foster said.

Foster shares more than just the love of space travel with his brother. They both have an inherited degenerative eye disease.

“When I would drop small objects on the floor I’d have a hard time finding them,” Foster said. “That was an early sign of it.’

By the age of 50, Foster was legally blind.

”I was in a boating accident in 1994,” said Bob Roehm and area sales manager for Orcam.

That accident left Roehm legally blind at the age of 35.

“Until they can transplant eyes, technology is going to be the only real solution for people who have degenerative eye disease,” said Roehm.

This device called wearable Orcam Myeye has only been available in the U.S. for the last couple of years and it’s keeping folks like Foster in the workplace.

“You can use it to read documents,” Foster said.

Foster just points at a document and the Orcam reads it in his ear.

“With all the other technology you’re tied to an office,” Roehm said.

The Orcam can read barcodes, road signs and even faces.

“When you just walk into my vision, it will tell me 'there’s Randy',” Foster said.

“I can go to the grocery store and pick up items and I can be able to tell what I’m holding," Roehm said.

“It gives you a level of independence that wasn’t there before,”  said Foster. 

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