Location: Indiana, United States

I became a Professor Emeritus after serving 29 years as a recreational therapy faculty member at Indiana University. I'm a long-time Hoosier, having grown up in Hanover, Indiana. My RT practitioner work was in psych/mental health. After completing my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, my first faculty position was at the University of North Texas. RT has been a wonderful profession for me as I have had the opportunity to serve as an author and national leader.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Researchers Develop Camera for Visually Impaired

This morning I read an article in Campus Technology by Dian Schaffnauser on a camera that should help persons with visual impairments. It seems to be an exciting new development -- so I'm passing along part of the article (below):

A team of scientists at MIT has developed a camera that allows the sight-impaired to take and see photos. The recent demonstration of the device comes two decades after Elizabeth Goldring, a senior fellow at MIT's Center for Advanced Visual Studies, and colleagues began work on a "seeing machine."

The results have evolved from Goldring's initial inspiration, a large diagnostic device costing some $100,000, to a $4,000 desktop version, to the current seeing machine, which is portable and inexpensive. "We can make one for under $500," Goldring said.

Although the device can be connected to any visual source, such as a video camera or desktop computer, Goldring, who is completely blind in one eye, especially enjoys using it with a photo camera. "When someone has a diminished sense, the inability to express yourself with that sense can be frustrating," she said. By taking photos, "I feel I'm able to express myself visually with my blind eye, and there's value in that, I think."

Plans are underway to test the device at the Low Vision Clinic at the Joslin Diabetes Center’s Eye Institute in Boston.


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