2016.01.08

Technology that helps people with blindness participate in the sighted world

Haben Girma was the first deaf-blind student to graduate from Harvard Law School. She’s someone who has experienced first-hand the transformation that technology can bring to the educational opportunities for people who are deaf-blind. She is active in encouraging authorities to make technologies such as digital braille devices available for more people across the world.

When Haben went to the White House, she used a communications device from Essilor’s partner Humanware to talk with President Obama. This technology enables people to communicate with each other by converting typed text into braille and transforming braille into text displayed on a computer or synchronized to a mobile phone screen. Through this device Haben was able to ‘talk’ with President Obama without any spoken word.

Humanware, a Canadian company and leader in the design of assistive technologies for people who are blind or vision impaired, joined the Essilor Group in October 2013. Humanware will introduce in 2016 the next generation of productivity devices that enable people who are blind to access webpages, download emails or take and share information for use in education, business or personal communications. Helping visually impaired individuals gain more autonomy is a natural extension of Essilor’s mission.​

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