Boardman woman brainstorms idea to help blind experience art

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A Boardman woman has come up with an idea to help the blind experience art in a unique way.

Joy Mistovich was born blind.

“A person can see at about 200 feet. I can see from about 20 feet away.”

But that hasn’t stopped her from excelling. She has two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s in English.

Now she’s trying to get someone to invest in Eyedeas Without Borders — a 3D, portable, multifunctional computer — so blind people can touch their way through an art museum.

The electronic device the size of an iPad would come with cameras and a voice activation system. It would help the blind better appreciate places like the Butler Art Museum.

“The picture would be auto-generated and then the user would be able to feel, see, and read a description of the painting,” Joy said.

The device would also provide maps of all public buildings worldwide, making it easier for the blind to get around.

“It would help them most significantly to navigate indoors and outdoors in any public space.”

Joy admitted this is just a plan and she’ll need help with both the financing and the technology. Her mother, Joyce Mistovich, has confidence she’ll succeed.

“She comes up with ideas, she does not allow herself to be sad or disappointed about things in life, she always remains positive in her attitude.”

Joy entered her idea into the Holman Prize contest, sponsored by the San Francisco-based Lighthouse for the Blind. The winner gets $25,000 and advice on moving forward with the project.

“They would be able to assist them with gaining the ability to get the project off the ground,” she said.

Joyce believes in her daughter “wholeheartedly.”

“She’s my hero and I know that if she wants to make this happen, it will happen.”

You can vote for Joy’s project by “liking” her pitch video on the Holman Prize’s website and YouTube.