Lake County restaurant helps child born blind gain independence

PAINESVILLE - In the restaurant business, don't expect to last long without good food -  and in the case of one Leroy Township restaurant employees and even bigger heart for the community.

"There is always somebody in need and so my wife and I came up with the idea of giving back to the community," said Vice President of Capps Tavern and Eatery Tim Toman. "We started our fundraising with the golf outing 19 years ago."

This year the search for a recipient for more than $4,000 dollars ended with a repeat customer who sees the world a little differently.

"If you haven't met Dylan, he's such a charismatic child," said Toman.

12-year-old Dylan LeMaster of Painesville is smart, funny and happens to be blind. It is a disability he was born with, but continues to find new ways to accomplish the same tasks his peers can. Including preparing to show his first goat, Pickles, at an upcoming fair.

Aside from Pickles, one of Dylan's favorite pastimes is reading his heavy braille books, a task made a little easier thanks to the kindness of Toman and the surrounding community.

"I think my OrCam is going to help me with reading," Dylan said.

His OrCam is a device that clips to Dylan's glasses, giving him and other visually impaired people a way to read the books everyone else can. Orcam, when prompted, can take what Dylan calls a picture of the page in a book and then read it out loud to him.

Dylan says the device will not only help him in 6th grade next year, but also be put to good use in everyday aspects of life such as the grocery store. OrCam can scan barcodes, letting him know the name of most food products he holds up to the device.

"It makes me feel like I am not visually impaired, that I'm reading a regular book that somebody that has full vision can read," explained Dylan.

An independence that will likely continue to grow along with Dylan's age.

"I don't need to ask anyone for help anymore. I can do things more in my own without having to ask somebody, 'Hey can you read this to me? Hey, what's this?"

The gift from Capps not of sight but new understanding for a child eager to explore on his own.

"It's overwhelming,the good nature and graciousness of people," said Dylan's dad Rick LeMaster. "It sometimes can catch up to ya. There's good in the world I guess, and we're just the happy people who are getting the good side of it."

An OrCam spokesperson says the latest model typically costs around $4,500 dollars and usually is not covered by insurance.

The LeMaster family says they received the device last week and they remain confident, like all things Dylan has accomplished so far, that it's only a matter of time before he conquers all that OrCam can do.