iPad enables legally blind woman to see her kids faces for first time in 30 years

Sat, May 14, 2011


By Sarah Petit:

Apple likes to tout its iPad as magical, and while Apple is of course no stranger to hyperbole, the following story really strikes a chord. The video below profiles Evelyn O’Brien, a woman who has been legally blind for more than 30 years after being diagnosed with Macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is a eye disorder that affects the center of a person’s field of vision.

Now with the advent of the iPad, given its portability and ability to zoom in real close on pictures, O’Brien for the first time is seeing things – like her kids faces! – that she hasn’t seen in years.

iPad gives sight to legally blind woman: wwlp.com

Naturally, some folks are wondering why she couldn’t just use a magnifying glass. Addressing that, an optometrist on a Reddit thread chimes in:

Magnifying glasses only allow for a certain amount of magnification; the handheld ones can go up to maybe 4x. People with end-stage macular degeneration need things magnified 10-20x. There are low-vision aids available that do the same thing the iPad is — like CCTVs, which have been out for ages — but they’re a lot more expensive (and less portable, and single-purpose) than the iPad is.

Here’s the world, indeed.

Meanwhile, Windows 7 is helping the elderly with, ahem, intimacy problems.


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6 Comments For This Post

  1. Grump Says:

    How would she see the mouse cursor?

  2. Joe Says:

    Ya, this is a ridiculous story. I am a teacher for the visually impaired, and trust me, Apple did not invent “zooming in”. This poor old lady must live in a home and her family just came to see her for the first time since they were kids. And the eye doctor wanted a new gadget, ya bullocks! lol

  3. Notbuying Says:

    come on an ipad is way small than anyone’s head or a photo closeup that is 6×10.

  4. oddstray Says:

    Joe, why would anyone have thought to provide a computer with “zooming in” to someone with macular degeneration. Unitil someone with an iPad happened to visit her and showed her how to zoom in. I have an acquaintance with macular degeneration … we used to go on outdoors field trips. So I’m not sure how soon I’d have thought to bring an iPad, photo what we were looking at, and zoom it in for him.

    I think it offers promise!

  5. Drake Says:

    I cant view the video on my ipad though because its in a flash object.

  6. Luis Enrique Says:

    @Grump Mouse cursor? Are you kidding? Please tell me you are kidding… what cursor? I mean… you never have used an iPad, right?

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