S: Sight Savers America & Songs for Sight
FC: Songs for Sight Alabama Program
3: Equipment Given | Number of Children Receiving Equipment | CCTVs Laptops with Jaws Zoomtext Software Braillers Telescopes/Magnifiers Exams/Glasses/Goggles | 27 3 1 1 17 18
4: Seven year old Bayleigh’s vision impairment is due to optic atrophy, nystagmus, and constant right esotropia. The right esotropia affects her depth perception, unless that eye is closed. She is also significantly nearsighted, with a visual acuity of 20/191 in her right eye and 20/481 in her left. Her mother was excited about the CCTV for Bayleigh and repeatedly exclaimed, “My baby can see!” during the delivery and training. Bayleigh is in the first grade and loves books about animals.
5: Five year old Brooklyn has Alstrom syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, as well as resulting rod-cone dystrophy and nystagmus. Her visual acuity is approximately 20/600 in each eye. She was already using a CCTV at school, so she was comfortable with all the functions during training. Brooklyn was very excited about having her own CCTV at home. Her favorite books are by Dr. Seuss because she likes all the colorful pages. | A few months after Brooklyn received her CCTV, her family wrote to Sight Savers America saying: Words cannot describe how thankful we have been for the CCTV my daughter, Brooklyn, is using. Within days she was a pro at using it. Mom and Dad were a different story. Thankfully, we have a brilliant little girl who was able to teach us!!! Brooklyn was born with a rare genetic disorder called Alstrom Syndrome, which not only affects all main organs, and causes multiple organ failures, it also robs individuals of their vision and hearing; thankfully, it is all progressive. The only thing Alstrom Syndrome does not affect is intelligence. Sight Savers has been able to give us back a little hope in a world and time when a new diagnosis of something so devastating has given us so little. To know that with a little help and technological advancements, she is able to live a life comparable to her peers and able to excel in her educational endeavors is heartwarming. We thank you all at Sight Savers from the bottom of our hearts! You all go above and beyond for those that need a little help. A letter of thanks is minimal compared to what you all have given back to our family HOPE!!!
6: Waid is five years old and was recently adopted from China. Three of his five siblings were also adopted internationally. He was diagnosed with aniridia and glaucoma, with a visual acuity of about 20/400. He reads at a three year old level, but through homeschooling, his mother uses the CCTV to help him learn his letters and numbers as well as to recognize the relationship between counting objects and numbers. They use the CCTV for both books and flashcards every day.
7: Kaila is seven years old and has a microphthalmos in her left eye and a coloboma in her right eye. Though she doesn’t read yet, Kaila caught on to the functions of the CCTV very quickly and it is evident that she’ll get much use out of the CCTV. | Six year old Christopher has foveal hypoplasia, a hereditary ocular disease, which is an underdevelopment of the part of the eye responsible for detail vision. His father and siblings have also been diagnosed. He has a visual acuity of 20/200 in both eyes.
8: Eleven year old Ashlee has a visual acuity of 20/200 and significant contrast sensitivity due to optic atrophy. She was very excited to be able to work with a CCTV so she could read her sister’s books instead of just being able to read only what was available in large print. Ashlee is homeschooled so having a CCTV to work with at home is invaluable to her education.
10: Due to retinal scarring, six year old Narissa has a visual acuity of 20/348 in her right eye and 20/333 in her left with glasses. Narissa really enjoyed using her CCTV to see the family pets and chickens outside. She just aimed the camera out a window and could enlarge it on her CCTV monitor to see it. Being able to zoom in on their faces and feathers allowed her to see something she had never been able to really see before.
12: Five year old Carter was diagnosed with optic gliomas when he was just 15 months old. He completed chemotherapy at age 3. Since then, his optic nerve gliomas have been stable. His visual acuity is 20/800 and he relies entirely on his right eye. He has no fine depth perception and severe impairment of color vision. Carter has a vibrant personality and is very outgoing. Carter loves to play with his toy cars. When his CCTV was delivered he immediately grabbed his favorite Hot Wheels cars and put them under his CCTV. There he was able to not only see the color of each car, but he was able to look at the individual spokes on the tires, read the decals, and even read the tiny license plate on the back of each car. To say that Carter is a joy to be around would be an understatement. He is very outgoing and spreads love as if he was put on this earth to do just that. He always has a smile on his face and enjoys meeting new people. Even with his visual disabilities, Carter explores life with a vitality most people can only dream to possess.
13: Ten year old Mitchell was diagnosed with esotropia, nystagmus, and high hyperopia. | Born at only 24 weeks gestation, Samantha, now five, has retinopathy of prematurity. Her visual acuity is 20/640 with both eyes. Her mom says that the CCTV has been such a great help and that Samantha uses it daily to do her homework.
14: Tacari is thirteen years old and was diagnosed with probable bilateral anterior ischemic optic neuropathy, a condition affecting the optic nerves, and autism. Her visual acuity is 20/400 in both eyes.
15: Twelve year old Ky’rsten is in the sixth grade and has oculocutaneous albinism, nystagmus, and exotropia. She has frequent eye fatigue due to her condition. A few months after Ky’rsten received her CCTV, her parents wrote to Sight Savers America, saying: We would like to thank Sight Savers for providing our daughter Ky’rsten with an Optelec CCTV and magnifiers. Having a child with a visual impairment we have tried several options at home to help her with her school work. Ky’rsten only had access in school to a CCTV and it was hard for her to do her homework at home. From the time that we talked to Sight Savers until the CCTV actually arrived, Ky’rsten was so excited. Jenny was super friendly and her coworker who brought the CCTV to us. They set it up and showed Ky’rsten a lot of cool options on it. I had no idea that this service (Sight Savers) even existed until Ky’rsten’s special education teacher sent me some information home about Sight Savers. I have actually posted a comment on my facebook that if anyone has a visually impaired child that I had some information that could be helpful for them. Ky’rsten does a lot of reading now for school with the accelerated reader program and the CCTV has been very helpful. With Ky’rsten being only 12 years old we will be using the CCTV and magnifiers for a long time. Again thank you so much for providing such a wonderful service to help my child and many others.
16: Five year old Leyton has “cat eye syndrome” and colobomas. He is also deaf and has cochlear implants but communicates through sign language. Mom signed to Leyton throughout the training. Leyton was a bit agitated by the presence of strangers, but once he was comfortable, he had each of the trainers take turns sitting with him at the CCTV. He would sit with each of the trainers for a while, drawing under the CCTV and then motion to them that their turn was over. He was just so excited to show everyone in the room that he knew what to do with the CCTV. His fun personality came out full-force when the camera was taken out to get pictures. He wanted to pose with the CCTV, the Sight Savers staff, and even the bag that the CCTV came in. Leyton’s excitement was contagious and it was inspiring to see that even with his severe vision and hearing problems, he was still uninhibited in his self expression.
18: Ten year old Brittany has optic nerve hypoplasia, nystagmus, poor color vision, and is light sensitive. Brittany does well in school and works with a CCTV in the classroom. Having access to one at home will allow for her to work on her homework more comfortably. | Twelve year old Miguel was diagnosed with rod-cone dystrophy. When asked if he was happy about his CCTV he said that he was excited to be able to read more. He explained that for school he has to keep a log of his reading hours and that with his CCTV he knew he’d be able to read without his eyes getting tired for a lot longer than before. He also placed a dollar bill under the CCTV’s camera and was amazed by the details in the bill’s intricate printing that he couldn’t see before.
19: Dylan is eight years old and has been diagnosed with albinism and nystagmus. His visual acuity is 20/400 in both eyes. Dylan was very excited about his new CCTV. He wanted to look at his toy car and he zoomed in to see all the details of the engine. He even read the tiny print on the hubcaps. A month after Dylan received his CCTV, his mother wrote Sight Savers America saying: I personally would like to send a huge Thank You out to the organization. You will never know what this means to my family. Dylan has really enjoyed his CCTV and glasses. The CCTV has made it much easier for him to do his homework and has cut down on the amount of time it takes him to get it done also. Dylan is excited about reading now where before he would want me to read to him. My husband just praised the ones that delivered the CCTV. They were very friendly and made Dylan feel very special. Dylan just loved them and went as far as having his picture taken with them and the CCTV. He wants us to show everyone the picture with his CCTV and his friends that brought it out. I would like to just say again that you and this organization are such a blessing and we are forever grateful.
20: Seven year old Carlos has septo optic dysplasia, optic nerve hypoplasia, nystagmus, and cerebral palsy. He is developmentally delayed and his parents helped him through the CCTV training process. He enjoyed seeing pictures and could identify some words and letters.
21: Nine year old Anna has a rare bone disease that causes calcium to build up in her corneas, resulting in impaired vision and a visual acuity of about 20/400. Anna’s Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) was present for the training and said that Anna never used to want to write her spelling words but once Anna learned how to write using the CCTV she was enthusiastic about getting the assignment done. | A few months after Anna received her CCTV, her mother wrote to Sight Savers America saying: Thank you so very much for assisting our daughter with this incredible CCTV machine. Anna uses it with her homework and reading books! Special thanks to Leigh, Loree, and Whitney for traveling to our home to set up the machine, working with Anna, and teaching us how it works. Sight Savers also helped us find an optometrist very close to Anna's school for her special glasses. Her new glasses and the CCTV machine have changed Anna's world. We are so thankful!
22: Twelve year old Trenton was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis in addition to optic and hypothalamic gliomas. His visual acuity is 20/800. He loves to read, and the CCTV makes it possible for him to do so comfortably. His favorite books are the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. After the training, Trenton had a lot of fun with the distance viewing and freeze function on the CCTV. He would make funny faces with the camera pointed at him and freeze the frame, temporarily storing the photo on the CCTV’s screen. After one of the pictures was taken he leaned in very closely to the screen and examined all the details in his face. It was evident that Trenton would not only use his CCTV to help him complete his school work but would also enjoy it in his free time. | Nine year old Jeramy is monocular due to congenital glaucoma.
23: Samuel is five years old and was born prematurely. He has retinal scarring as a result of retinopathy of prematurity, as well as esophageal and pulmonary illnesses. His visual acuity measures in the 20/200 to 20/800 range.
24: Amia has retinal dystrophy with a best corrected vision of 20/200 bilaterally. Amia was shy during the first part of training, but opened up as she became more comfortable with the equipment. When asked to pull out her favorite book, she brought out one about the solar system and spent time zooming in on the pictures. Her mother said she is very bright but struggles in school because of her vision impairments - she would tire quickly when reading because she would work so hard trying to focus. Her mom was very excited that now Amia would have something to help with that. Amia is only ten years old and already has aspirations of getting into college. She has big hopes and dreams, and the CCTV she received may help her achieve those. | Nine year old Caleb was born prematurely at 23 weeks, weighing only one pound at birth. He had a detached retina in his right eye and has a visual acuity of 20/100 in his better seeing left eye. Caleb was like many of the kids we encounter on our deliveries: initially very shy and reserved, but once the training was coming to a close, he blossomed before our very eyes. No longer was he hiding behind his mom or sitting quietly in the next room but was actively sharing stories and confidently directing us to look at all the details he could now see. After teaching him the distance viewing feature on his new CCTV, he told us he was going watch his Mom cook dinner in the kitchen every night while sitting in the living room.
25: John has a diagnosis of cone-rod dystrophy, and there is a family history of this vision problem among the males of his mother's side. Also, he has nystagmus, and his contrast sensitivity and color vision are impaired. He enjoyed zooming in on different objects throughout the house in the distance viewing mode. He also really liked being able to read a book while seated upright. He used to read with his forehead resting on his fist on the table. He seemed to be a natural at writing with the CCTV. He needed very little reminding to look at the screen instead of his hand. Mom said he is also currently in the beginning stages of learning Braille and attends weekly lessons with a TVI. Mom has been very proactive in ensuring John does not get behind due to his vision disabilities.
26: Bobby Joe is seven years old, and is blind due to glaucoma and aphakia. He attended our Low Vision Clinic in Mobile, Al and received a brailler. During the training, Bobby Joe could not contain his excitement and showed off his Braille skills to all of the Low Vision staff.
27: Fifteen year old Daniel is working with his right eye only as his left eye was lost to cancer when he was 18 months old. Although he previously used magnification devices and techniques, he recently suffered an unexplained loss of vision and has had to embrace access technologies which do not rely on eyesight. Daniel loves his new Laptop with JAWS software and he uses it for both school and recreational activities. | Seven year old Christian is legally blind. During training with his new CCTV, he placed a penny under the camera and zoomed in as far as he could and read all the text around the coin. He was particularly excited to be able to see the tip of Abraham Lincoln's nose. At the end of training he asked if he could have a CCTV and was beyond ecstatic when we told him the one he had been using was his!
29: Levi is thirteen years old and was diagnosed with hyperopia and optic nerve hypoplasia. He has very little functioning eyesight, so he needs blind aids in order to complete his schoolwork. Levi uses his Laptop with JAWS software to complete homework assignments, research his favorite topics, and so much more. Mom says that Levi thrives on knowledge, and the laptop has opened so many doors for him.