Special glasses to allow blind man to experience eclipse totality

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — James Boehm remembers his first eclipse all too well.

But after losing his eyesight following a suicide attempt back in 2010, that could have been his last time experiencing the celestial event. But that’s not the case. James embraced his new reality.


“I decided after about three days of coming to grips with what happened, I told my father I had two choices: either I could be the bump on the log and have people to things for me, or I could face this head on and be independent.”


One of the tools helping James be independent: AIRA glasses. They hold a camera in the corner, and that camera is connected to an app that allows a live agent to see what he can’t.

James will have his visual assistant Monday in Hopkinsville, Ky., to describe the point of totality to him, without delay, thanks to expanded service from AT&T, a partner of AIRA.

“From coast to coast totality, AT&T is boosting the network 160 percent from Salem, Oregon, to Charleston, S.C., and Hopkinsville alone we are increasing capacity 300 percent” explains Cathy Lewandowski, spokesperson for AT&T.

Monday in Hopkinsville, when everyone else is wearing their glasses to see the eclipse, James will be wearing his.

“I’m really looking forward to this eclipse tomorrow, it’s going to be a new way of experiencing it, but that’s the way I’ve learned to experience life is through my other senses.”

James says he’s one of about 500 people who currently use the AIRA glasses to help navigate the world around them.