The World Health Organization released a landmark report
on vision in 2019. It’s estimated that 2.2 billion people in the world have a vision impairment and of that, nearly half are preventable cases to some degree. As with many disabilities, visual impairment impacts low income individuals, those who live in rural areas, ethnic minorities and persons with other disabilities to a more significant degree.
Much of this disparity along socioeconomic and ethnic lines are highly correlated to the conditions typically associated with poverty and lack of access to quality, consistent healthcare. The spectrum of blindness and low vision is vast and each contains unique circumstances, but there are relatable issues on the whole that are universal.
Our systems are built upon an assumption that all senses will develop equally and wholly. But those in the blind and low vision community are presented with the challenges that stem from this assumption and it affects everything from social development to employment opportunities throughout their lifetimes. In an era of heightened awareness around disabilities, equity and empowerment, one company is driving positive change through technology in a simple, and rather beautiful way. It’s called Be My Eyes
Be My Eyes is an app that connects blind and low-vision individuals with sighted volunteers and companies from all over the world through a live video call. The app allows these volunteers to assist blind and low vision users providing a sense of purpose for the volunteers, and a pragmatic and empowering solution to the users themselves. Companies such as Google, Microsoft and Procter & Gamble have created unique programs to utilize Be My Eyes to assist their users and more companies are signing on rapidly.
In this episode we explore the technology, the use cases, and powerful human AND corporate benefits of the app by speaking with the VP of Community at Be My Eyes, Will Butler.
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