Roanoke center helping connect technology with visually impaired - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Roanoke center helping connect technology with visually impaired

ROANOKE -

For the last 28 years Dennis Helms has been working for the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired, helping clients get equipment that can help them with day-to-day life.

"We can't bring back your vision, we can't make that better," he said. "But we can make your life much more enjoyable."

Helms practices what he preaches.

He is blind and uses many of the devices he connects clients with daily.

Like Jaws, a computer program that reads e-mails and web pages out loud.

It even translates text to braille, which thanks to a special printer Helms can print out and read.

When on the go he also uses a braille operated device which may be best described as a modified iPad.

"It's like a mini-computer and it weighs less than a pound," Helms said. "I can write notes, it writes in electronic brail and it also speaks while I'm writing."

"There are very few barriers now," said Steve Surratt, a rehabilitation engineer with the department.

His job is to design and improve the technology available to those who are blind or visually impaired.

"It's gone from stand alone scanners which have been around for some time, to even a few aps on for instance the iPhone that can scan and read text," he said.

But like Helms, Surratt's goal is to get the technology into the hands of people who need it.

"A lot of people simply don't know that this technology is available and that it can help them," he said.

Those who qualify can get financial assistance with many of the devices.

To find out if you qualify you can contact the Roanoke office at 540-561-7442 or Dennis Helms directly at 540-561-7454.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Vigil held for 2-year-old girl who died after being left in hot van

    Vigil held for 2-year-old girl who died after being left in hot van

    Monday, September 1 2014 8:30 PM EDT2014-09-02 00:30:57 GMT
    Roanoke City Police are investigating the incident surrounding the death of a 2-year-old girl. According to a news release from police, officers were called to the 1500 block of Kenwood Boulevard SE at 4:27 p.m. Sunday for an unresponsive child.
    Roanoke City Police are investigating the incident surrounding the death of a 2-year-old girl. According to a news release from police, officers were called to the 1500 block of Kenwood Boulevard SE at 4:27 p.m. Sunday for an unresponsive child.
  • Kraft Foods recalls over 7,500 cases of Kraft American Singles

    Kraft Foods recalls over 7,500 cases of Kraft American Singles

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:43 AM EDT2014-09-02 06:43:53 GMT
    (WSLS)-- Kraft Foods announces a voluntary recall of more than 7,500 cases of craft singles cheese slices.The company says the recall is a precaution after a supplier failed to store the cheese in accordance with Kraft temperature standards.No complaints or illnesses have been reported. If you have one of the affected packages, return it to the store where it was purchased for a full refund.Here are the affected items:Product Name:12 oz Kraft American Singles (16 slices)Best When Used by Date...
    (WSLS)-- Kraft Foods announces a voluntary recall of more than 7,500 cases of craft singles cheese slices.The company says the recall is a precaution after a supplier failed to store the cheese in accordance with Kraft temperature standards.No complaints or illnesses have been reported. If you have one of the affected packages, return it to the store where it was purchased for a full refund.Here are the affected items:Product Name:12 oz Kraft American Singles (16 slices)Best When Used by Date...
  • Community mourns loss of two-year-old girl left behind in hot car

    Community mourns loss of 2-year-old girl left behind in hot car

    Community mourns loss of 2-year-old girl left behind in hot car

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:50 PM EDT2014-09-02 01:50:01 GMT
    Dozens of people in the community in Southeast Roanoke gathered and circled around to remember the life of a two-year-old girl.
    Dozens of people in the community in Southeast Roanoke gathered and circled around to remember the life of a two-year-old girl.
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.