ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – 26 children across the Big Country received free low-vision evaluations and high tech vision aids Thursday.
Sight Savers of America partnered with the Education Service Center Region 14 to help legally blind children between the ages of four and 19 years of age. At no cost to those experiencing blindness, several sponsors were able to give these kids thousands of dollars worth of tools.
Nine-year-old Emberlyn Toney was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma, a type of eye cancer when she was five months old. It was a diagnosis she shares with her mother, Heather Toney.
“I’m actually totally blind, so they didn’t know how to deal with that cancer much when I was a baby so I ended up losing both of my eyes,” Emberlyn’s mother explained. “She has good vision in one of her eyes.”
Even with good vision in one eye, being legally blind makes things difficult for Emberlyn. With the help of the high tech vision aid, Jennifer Haddox, Chief Program Officer with Sight Savers America told KTAB/KRBC her life has changed.
“That takes someone whose vision is right here, and kinda opens up their entire world,” expanded Haddox.
Also a feature at this giveaway, the Onyx Electronic Video Magnifier, which makes it easier to learn.
“They have different color contrast modes,” Haddox pointed out. “You and I read black print on white paper, but sometimes, they (legally blind people) need yellow print on a blue background or a lower contrast.”
The machine helps with reading and writing. It can also be used to point at a TV or outside. But, in a fun feature, you can also use it to see yourself.
“[You can] Check you hair out before you go on a date, or pluck your eyebrows, what have you,” suggested Haddox. “Or, point it out the window and watch the hummingbirds on the feeder.”
With her allowance, Emberlyn bought a little makeup and with the help of the tools she got at Thursday’s giveaway, she can practice applying that makeup.
Follow this link for more information about Sight Savers America.