OrCam featured in Link Magazine (December 2019)
OrCam was recently featured in an issue of Link Magazine – Australia’s national disability magazine. Read about how the OrCam has been life-changing for Daniel from Magnetic Island, QLD.
Magnetic Island resident Daniel Staunton is living a more independent life after he secured additional National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funding to purchase an OrCam – a wearable assistive technology device, which reads text, recognises faces and identifies products.
The 28-year-old, who has low vision, epilepsy, diabetes, and who is in remission after a brain tumour, said the OrCam device has built-in facial recognition, which he loves.
“The OrCam looks like an ordinary pair of glasses,” Daniel said.
“They are just clear lenses, but in the arm, there’s a built-in camera so when someone stands in front of me, and they say who they are, I can take a photo. Then when they stand in front of me again, it tells me who they are.”
Daniel said he also uses the OrCam to take images of any text he directs the device to and it will read it out to him.
“One of my support workers is teaching me to cook so when I need to read a recipe, I can flick to the page and it reads it to me,” he said.
Daniel’s mum Cheryl said state-of-the-art assistive technology has certainly been “life-changing” for her son, who previously sat at home seven days a week, watching Simpsons DVDs.
“Now he is much more confident and independent,” she said proudly. “He catches the ferry over to Townsville by himself – I’ve noticed a huge difference in him.”
An NDIS participant since the scheme rolled out in Townsville in 2016, Cheryl said Daniel has become a confident advocate for people with disability, and now he has the OrCam, he is looking forward to achieving more NDIS goals, in particular, becoming a clown doctor and writing a book.
“Daniel wants to be a clown doctor – he’s always wanted to do that,” she said.
“When he was younger, he spent a lot of time in hospital with a brain tumour. The clown doctors would come in and he just loved them, that’s why he wants to be one – doing magic tricks and balloon twisting, entertaining kids in hospital,” Cheryl said.
“It’s the ideal activity for Daniel. He just loves helping people so now we have enrolled him at La Luna performing arts where he is learning how to perform magic and do balloon twisting. It will keep him active and involved in his community.”
Daniel is also looking to write another book, after having had two ‘dad joke’ books published when he was younger as a fundraiser, supporting Camp Quality – an organisation who take children with cancer on camp, which he was a part of, and also the face of, as a child.
“When Daniel was younger he loved being a part of Camp Quality so to help raise money for it, he decided to write some joke books aimed at school children,” Cheryl said.
“He sent letters out to schools, asking teachers and students to submit a joke to be published for a $10 donation per student or a $50 donation per classroom.
“He also sent letters out to celebrities, associated with Camp Quality, asking them to send him a joke too. Then he added the ones he had written and book publisher, Scholastic, published the books and sold them as part of its book club through schools.”
Daniel now wants to write another book: “This time about learning things like drama, art – all kinds of stuff,” he said.
“Becoming a clown doctor and writing another book are ways I can give something back and make a real difference in people’s lives, like they’ve made in mine.”
The NDIS has provided support to more than 52,000 people across Queensland. There are more than 300,000 people now benefitting from the NDIS nationally, including close to 100,000 people who have never received supports before.