Vision loss has not stopped Janet Gray of Northern Ireland from achieving success. Due to a rare form of glaucoma – the same hereditary condition as her father and brother – Janet’s sight started to deteriorate when she was 15 years old, and she had total vision loss by age 21.
Previously a lifeguard and swimming coach, Janet was determined not to let her diagnosis interfere with her love of water sports. Janet realised her water-skiing aspirations by becoming World Water Ski Disabled Champion four times (between 1999-2007).
Later in life, as a successful professional, Janet was appointed as an independent member of the Northern Ireland Policing Board which, to support Janet’s legislative duties, provided her with funding for the OrCam MyEye. This wearable assistive technology device allows Janet to instantly read documents in hardcopy – and digitally from a computer, tablet, and smartphone. The OrCam MyEye works completely offline and doesn’t store any text, ensuring complete data privacy, which is critical in her duties.
Janet also uses the device’s facial recognition feature in meetings to ascertain which of her fellow board members are present and where they are seated in the room.
Janet explains: “The OrCam MyEye gives me the freedom to read my own letters, documents, bank statements and digital screens. The device is lightweight, discreet, easy to operate – and helps improve my independence in everyday life.”
Janet’s resilience and inner strength have defined her personal achievements and career – and have not allowed vision loss to prevent her from pursuing ambitions.
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