Groups help give children second chance at sight
by Savannah Weeks
November 25, 2012 01:10 AM | 3694 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SANDY SPRINGS — Sight Savers America partnered with the McCalla Raymer LLC law firm in Sandy Springs and 20/20 Technology to provide four electronic video magnifiers to five Fulton County school children who are extremely visually impaired or legally blind.

The children were able to learn their new machine at an event at the law office last week.

Most of the students use the machine at school to do work, but don’t have one at home for homework, reading and other activities that require magnification.

Stephon McRoyal, 9, son of Kimberly McRoyal of Sandy Springs, attends High Point Elementary and was one of the five children to receive a machine. Alon Rosh, 6, and Eden Rosh, 4, children of Rebeca and Israel Rosh of Sandy Springs, were also chosen to receive a machine to share. The two siblings have congenital nystagmus, according to their mother. Alon attends Spalding Charter Elementary School.

“I found out about the program through Alon’s vision teacher at school,” Rosh said.

Alon uses a magnifying machine at school.

“That’s actually the reason we sent them to public school,” said Rebeca Rosh, who wanted her children to attend a Jewish school. “The private school didn’t want to pay for any of (Alon’s) vision needs.”

Kameron West, 10, son of Mary Jo Kraudy, of Alpharetta, and Jordan Hezekiah, 5, son of Joy Williams and Rossvelt Hezekiah, of East Point, were also given machines.

The cameras on the machine magnify objects up to 79 times, but are not covered by any insurance companies, according to Sight Savers Chief Operating Officer Chad Nichols. The machines cost $2,500 each.

The camera can be moved and allows children to read, groom themselves and see other things at a distance.

Nichols said one in every 2,000 children have severe visual problems.

The Birmingham, Ala.-based nonprofit first began as Sight Savers of Alabama, but they have now served more than 35,000 children in six states. The organization has served 10 children in Georgia.

Sight Savers has wanted to expand its reach in Georgia, according to Nichols. The organization reached out to Fulton County Schools. The school system identified candidates and the organization went from there.

“We had a contact at McCalla Raymer,” said Nichols. “They learned about the low-vision program and thought it was great.”

“We knew of their reputation and knew they had a growing presence in Fulton County,” said Kent Altom, managing partner of the law firm’s Georgia and Alabama litigation and trial practice group.

“I can’t think of a better way to help these children.”

Altom said the firm raised the money for the equipment.
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