WBZ Cares: Amazing Technology

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Each month, “WBZ Cares” highlights a worthy non-profit organization and tells the story of what that organization does for the community. This month WBZ is profiling The Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, empowering those who are blind and visually impaired to achieve independence and lead a fulfilling life.

The Carroll Center's Director of Technology Brian Charlson uses his phone to access a service called AIRA, which provides him with visual information.

“I need to know how many people are in the room and I can actually use facial recognition to tag people I’m in constant contact with, and then, as I pan this around the room, they can compare it with my gallery of fiends that they have on scale for me to tell me who the people are in the room,” Charlson outlined.

Charlson says there is a lot of additional help and information he can get from his phone.

“So on my iPhone here, I can do some pretty amazing things, not the least of which is to read today’s Boston Globe before it ever hits the newsstand. In addition, programs that will read print material to me. So I can be in a restaurant and want to read that menu, hold this phone camera over it and it will come back to me and read aloud what’s on that menu,” Charlson demonstrated.

Director of Low Vision Services Bob McGillivary says The Carroll Center also gives clients with vision issues personal service.

“And what I find the most unique is you have the opportunity to gain the professional guidance in a timely manner. You’re not going to a doctor’s office who’s seeing 15 patients and everything else is left up to their support staff. You come here, you get the individual attention, you get the intensive training and intensive services you need,” McGillivary stated.

WBZ NewsRadio1030's Doug Cope Reports

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