June 26, 2015
Written by Zack Steen
County Judge Steve Little can now see better than ever.
equipment installed this week at Little’s Alcorn Regional Correctional Facility
office will help the judge continue to get the job done while battling the
genetic blindness disorder, Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy — also known as
began experiencing central vision loss in April 2014 and within a few months
the Justice Court judge had lost central vision in both eyes.
report I got said my eyesight was 2400/2800," said Little. "In the
state of Mississippi, they consider 2200 legally blind."
said he can no longer drive and often only sees shadows.
disorder has really affected my work," he said. "Up until this week,
I have had to rely on someone to be with me in the courtroom to read me affidavits
and other documents.”
Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services counselor Kathy Yates, who helps
her patients stay independent and working in the community, first turned the
judge on to the possibility of placing sight service equipment in his office
was open to it, as long as it helped me get the job done," said Little.
new equipment included a 24-inch monitor with video and zoom magnification, a
17-inch laptop with document scanning camera, an oversized keyboard and several
pieces of screen magnification and zoom text software.
system’s camera can take a picture of an eight point document and enlarge it on
the screen to 60 point," said Mike Self with Freedom Scientific, who
helped install the system. "The
software can read a document aloud and can magnify any program on the computer like
Microsoft Word, email, websites and other special software used by the
judge was also provided a portable monitor with attached movable, zoom camera which
he can use in the courtroom.
the portable system, he can zoom in on documents or witnesses to see facial
expressions," added Self. "It's a very handy tool."
used the portable system in the courtroom for the first time on Wednesday.
is definitely going to help me do a better job," he said. "Once I get
more comfortable with it, I think I might even be able to get things done
faster than before."
equipment and software was paid with state and federal funds. Little said no
county funds were used.
estimated 35,000 people in the world are affected by LHON, which can cause
optic nerve to atrophy. About 100 people reportedly lose central vision due to
the disorder every year.