Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Vision scanner for Rochester resident

Rochester resident John Constable has received the latest vision scanner available, thanks to Rochester Lions.

GRAHAM WILLIS August 1, 2014 3:48am

Rochester Lions president Bill Closter presents the latest vision scanner to visually-impaired resident John Constable.

When Rochester resident John Constable’s vision reached the stage where he struggled to identify the simplest of items in his cupboard, it meant opening a can for dinner became more of a lucky dip.

A chance meeting at a friend’s wedding with a long serving Lions member alerted him the latest technology for people with extremely limited sight, a digital barcode reader called an ID Mate.

Months later, he received one of these after Rochester Lions came to the fore.

The reader has the ability to scan any mainstream supermarket product and orally inform him of its contents and size.

‘‘So instead of opening a can and hoping for the best, I now know exactly what is in it,’’ Mr Constable said.

‘‘The machine actually speaks to me.’’

Even more impressive is the ability of the machine to identify pharmaceuticals.

As a diabetic, Mr Constable relies on various medications and a quick scan using the machine tells him exactly what medicine he has picked up.

He can also use the machine to identify banknotes, making his shopping much easier.

‘‘I can also create my own barcodes and attach them to items,’’ he said.

‘‘If I select something from the wardrobe, it can tell me the colour rather than hoping for the best.

‘‘If I freeze meat, I can put a barcode on it and when I take it out, I know exactly what I am getting.’’

Rochester Lions president Bill Closter said the club was thrilled to be able to provide such a valuable tool for Mr Constable.

‘‘John is a personable young man who really appreciates our donation,’’ he said.

‘‘This is what Lions is all about — helping others who need it.’’

The machine was funded through the Australian Lions Visual Independence Foundation.

Mr Constable cannot thank the club enough.

‘‘This is a fantastic machine and it has made a huge difference to my life.’’

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