Massachusetts Community Raises $10,000 to Help Legally Blind Woman Buy eSight Glasses

For years Laura Gregory was unable to read the nutrition facts on food products or see the decorations in her living room.

Thanks to the kindness of strangers, that has changed, the Daily News reported.

Aided by a pair of innovative eSight glasses, Gregory — who has been legally blind her whole life — can now read the menu at Starbucks and distinguish facial expressions from a distance.

“It was just amazing looking around the room seeing things on the mantel,” said Gregory, who received the glasses in March. “I’m seeing new things every day. It’s a huge difference. Even sitting in Starbucks I can look at the door and see who is coming in.”

The glasses are a new technology that grants sight to those whose vision is so impaired that it cannot be corrected with ordinary lenses. The eSight headsets are equipped with a camera that captures what a user is looking at in real time and displays the images on two screens in front of the user’s eyes. Those wearing the glasses can control color, contrast, brightness and zoom.

Gregory — a former teacher’s aide who has been unemployed for the past eight years — could not afford the $10,000 cost to purchase the glasses. Her insurance would not cover the cost either, so she enlisted the help of the Marlborough community, which raised the $10,000 in mere weeks.

The grateful 12-year Marlborough resident is hand-writing thank you notes to those who donated.

“They’ve been life changing,” she said about the glasses and those who helped her buy them.

The glasses have some limitations – such as not being useful at the movies and while walking – but they have increased her independence and safety.

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