David Hyche, special agent at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), created a special beeper to place inside of a plastic egg to allow blind children to have an Easter egg hunt. Hyche came up with the technology nine years ago when his 4-month-old daughter Rachel went blind.
Hyche explained to Fox News, "My daughter at 4 months old lost her vision. She has a disease called retinopathy of prematurity, and my first thought was that she could never have a 'normal life' … [but] she quickly taught me by the time she was 18 months old saying, 'I'll do it by myself.'"
Once Rachel was old enough to participate in an Easter egg hunt, Hyche quickly recognized the problem. His young and independent daughter didn't want a parent to walk her through the Easter egg hunt and place her hands on the eggs.
At that time, the Blind Children's Center in California had some information on beeping plastic eggs for visually impaired children. Using his bomb expertise, Hyche improved upon the design as he began to build the beeping eggs in his garage. The International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators funded the project to create beeping eggs that cost $14 each.
The invention, passed on by Hyche to the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind, is genius in its simplicity. Hyche created what he called a "logical" solution for blind children left out of Easter egg hunts: A transmitter placed inside of a plastic Easter egg beeps to create a high-pitched sound. The device is made from a battery, beeper and switch.
When a visually impaired child finds a beeping egg in an Easter egg hunt, they can trade it in for candy.
As Hyche noted, this invention fills an important void for blind children. "With my daughter, one of her first phrases was, 'I do it myself.' She wants to do it by herself and most of these kids want to do that too," he said.
Thanks to this dad's brilliant Easter egg hack, the Birmingham Regional Center of the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind's ninth annual Beeping Easter Egg Hunt will take place this year. Not only is the idea clever, but as Tamara Harrison of the Alabama Institute pointed out, it has given kids with disabilities the opportunity to have the same Easter fun as everyone else.
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