Sightsavers: Changing Lives Around the World

There are many individuals and companies around the world giving back to others less fortunate. Great companies and people, donate time and talents with no expectation of return.


Sightsavers is a wonderful organization. Started in 1950 by Sir John Wilson and Lady Jean Wilson. The organization has transformed the lives of millions. Sightsavers America works to treat every child and adult with sight problems realize their potential.


Six children in metro Atlanta are finding out firsthand, what Sightsavers is doing to improve lives. The kids, ranging in age from 4 to 19 are all considered legally blind. The kids are from Fulton, Gwinnet, and Dekalb counties.


Sightsavers of America has given special pieces of equipment, which help the children to see better. The Onyx electronic video magnifier and other assistive technologies are life-changing for these kids. Each year the Pelham, Alabama based non-profit and other philanthropic organizations donate dozens of these machines in 13 states.


The Onyx video magnifier costs about $2,600 each and insurance does not provide for it. The cost is over what households can pay. With the support of Sightsavers, the kids picked up their machines May 15 at the Center for the Visually Impaired Midtown.


The Onyx video magnifier dramatically improves contrast and helps to magnify objects up to 131 times. Through Gia’s Eyes Foundation, Abraham J. and Phyllis Katz Foundation and Speedway Children’s Charities donated the machines. VFO, who builds the Onyx video magnifiers, also donated machines to the effort.


The life-changing equipment helps these kids become independent. Normally, the children must rely on family or friends to help them read and understand the text. Reading is difficult because each word must be looked at independently and then the whole text needs understanding. The Onyx makes such a difference. With the equipment, kids get right to work. The goal is to be independent and do the work on their own.


Diane Arceneaux, a college park resident, has retinitis pigmentosa. A disease where the retina is damaged. Diane feels the Onyx will help achieve the goals she has set for herself. The equipment will help her finish the tests and understand the words better.


Another child using the Onyx is Alecia, a fifth-grader at Asa G. Hilliard Elementary in East Point. Alecia says the equipment is easy to use. Her vision increased dramatically with the machine.

Sightsavers, transforming lives around the world.