A glimpse at working at RealThing Ai – Interview with Sheila Elkins Helms

Have you ever wondered what role assistive technology companies can play in supporting employment and employability of people who are visually impaired? The obvious answer – they create products that support employment and independent living. But what else can these companies do? RealThing Ai is taking a step further and is committing to offering on-the-job training opportunities for people who are visually impaired. We have partnered with the World Services for the Blind to create a formal internship program. 

RealThing Ai is a small company specializing in artificial intelligence (AI) called the voice dialogue. It’s proprietary engine powers the RealSAM Pocket which is an assistive technology phone specifically designed for people who are visually impaired. While serving people who are blind or have low vision with our products is at the core of what we do, contributing to improving access to meaningful jobs and on-the-job training for people who are visually impaired is very dear to our hearts. Today, we want to share with you Sheila’s story and her experience working with us. Watch a conversation between Rachel van Walsum, RealThing Ai’s social media consultant and Sheila Elkins Helms. 

“…I’m learning so much…I’ve never been in this setting. I’ve always been in the food service. So, now we’re taking my LinkedIn from food service to sales and all these different things I’ve never really [experienced]. I’ve experienced the customer service side of things but never really did something that can change a person’s life… How many people get to say “I helped bring it to market in the US… It’s not just the phone that got me; it’s everything they are doing… Every day I wake up and think is it really my life? How did we get here? How I all of a sudden became important to somebody else?…” – Sheila Elkins Helms

Sheila recently graduated from a program at the World Services for the Blind (WSB), a partner agency to the RealThing Ai.

“The mission of World Services for the Blind is to empower people who are blind or visually impaired in the United States and around the world to achieve sustainable independence. World Services for the Blind is one of a kind. By offering life skills and career training programs in one location, we are the most comprehensive rehabilitation center for people who are blind or visually impaired. Our approach allows students to receive services tailored specifically to their needs. From essential life skills that ensure an individual’s ability to live independently to technology based career-path programs designed to provide students with the knowledge and hands-on experience that will allow them to compete in today’s high-tech job market, our programs put our students on the path to sustainable independence.”

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