Montana School for the Deaf and Blind raising money for low vision device

Posted at 4:16 PM, Dec 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-20 19:01:26-05

GREAT FALLS – The Montana School for the Deaf and Blind held an open house Wednesday morning.

They invited community members in for a tour and a chance to test out their latest project.

The school is raising money to purchase a Prodigi Connect 12 for 100 low vision students.

The device costs nearly $3,000, but Outreach Director Carol Clayton-Bye says you can’t put a price on education.

“A lot of our students who are deflated because not being able to get the same information as other people, many of those students start to disengage from their education and social opportunities,” Clayton-Bye said.

She tells us the device will give students the opportunity to take a textbook or homework assignment, put it under the magnifying glass, and enlarge the print 46 times.

“It gives them the information that we as sighted people take for granted,” Clayton-Bye said.

The Prodigi Connect 12 also has a camera, which gives students the chance to see not only the white board but also their teacher from a distance.

“This device allows them the opportunity to be like everyone else to walk in to a classroom, set themselves up, see the information in real time. It allows them to share papers with their peers next to them, take someone else’s information and read. They are not dependent on an adult,” Clayton-Bye said.

The outreach program performed evaluations and assessments on students across the state and narrowed it down to 100.

Clayton-Bye says the device is life changing.

“For a lot of our kids, they just want to be kids. This device allows them the opportunity to be like everyone else. They are not dependent on an adult. It encourages them to have independence and be self-motivated and build self-esteem,” Clayton-Bye said.

If you wish to donate you can visit the Lion’s Club page or the MSDB project page.

Reporting by Elizabeth Transue for MTN News