Lighthouse Guild Opens Technology Center for People Who are Blind or Visually Impaired

Lighthouse Guild Opens Technology Center for People Who are Blind or Visually Impaired

March 10, 2022

Lighthouse Guild Technology Center, which provides the latest assistive devices and cutting-edge technology to people who are blind or visually impaired, recently celebrated its grand opening.

The Center is one of the most complete top assistive technology centers in the United States, occupying 11,000 square feet at Lighthouse Guild's New York City headquarters. It serves as a one-stop resource for vision care, rehabilitation, and technological training, as well as a testing ground for new ideas.

“Game-changing advances like artificial intelligence, program learning, virtual reality, facial recognition, and 5G are becoming available to benefit people who are blind and visually impaired,” said Calvin W. Roberts, MD, President & CEO of Lighthouse Guild.

“Our Technology Center is a hub connecting innovators and users to advance technological developments for our community and beyond. We are proud to help New Yorkers and others with vision loss access the technology they need to live the lives they aspire to.”

Among those joining Lighthouse Guild staff and clients at the ribbon-cutting were Gail Brewer, New York City Council Member District 6 Manhattan; Martha Jackson, Assistant Commissioner Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD); Julie Hovey, Associate Commissioner New York State Office of Children and Family Services (NYSCB); and Roberta Seemer, Senior Task Force Chair for Community Board 7.

Attendees toured a high-tech Smart Home, which included a kitchen, office, and living area, where people with vision loss could try out the latest technology to help them control their home environment, such as voice-activated appliances like microwaves, ovens, and refrigerators, as well as devices that could read labels, answer phones, adjust thermostats, lock doors, and more.

In addition, Lighthouse Guild experts and clients demonstrated some of the latest assisted devices available at the Center, among them: OrCam MyEye, which reads text aloud; IrisVision, designed to simulate a full visual view by filling in missing areas of sight;  Eyedaptic Glasses, created to compensate for central vision loss; and Freedom Scientific Onyx Deskset HD, a portable video magnifier that adapts to multiple environments and tasks for productivity at school, work, and at home.

Vision Assessments, Devices, Training

Individualized assessments by Lighthouse Guild professionals are available at the Technology Center to determine visual capacity, lifestyle, personal goals, and comfort with technology. The staff at the Lighthouse Guild Tech Center then works with each individual to discover the appropriate equipment or appliances for their specific needs.

Training to ensure optimal use and safety is provided.

There are opportunities to try out and learn how to use technology solutions, such as wearable devices taht convert text to speech, retçinize faces, and identify currency, as well as devices that use virtual reality technology to maximize useful vision, magnifiers, CCTVs, computers, and eyeglasses. Some devices are also available for purchase.