ATF Agent David Hyche’s daughter, Rachel, lost her eyesight at 4 months old from a disease called Retinopathy of Prematurity. He was afraid that she would be so restricted that she wouldn’t be able to enjoy life. But as he watched her, he realized she could do things on her own… if she had a little help. So at Easter, he set out to find away to help her enjoy finding Easter eggs.
“Life is either a great adventure or nothing.” Helen Keller
Rachel didn’t want someone putting her hand on an egg (the hovering principle that parents often follow). So David did some research on the internet.
He connected with a man who had instructions on how to make beeping eggs. Expensive beeping eggs. But since David works with explosives at the ATF, he created a $12 model.
A switch, a piezo beeper, a 9 volt battery, and a battery clip later, whalla! He had a beeping egg. All he had to do was activate it for her to be able to find it in the grass.
His invention didn’t stop at Rachel.
“I was doing a presentation at an International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators (IABTI) Conference and I showed pictures during the break of the kids at the Easter egg hunt. And a gentleman that’s an IABTI member saw that and thought that it would be the perfect marriage of ATF agents, law enforcement bomb technicians, and military bomb technicians to take this on as a project.” David Hyche
And so “The Rachel Project” was born. Now bomb squads all over America create the eggs for the groups of the ‘visually impaired’ and schools for the blind on a yearly basis. The schools use the eggs to teach blind students how to locate items and perform a logical pattern search. Hyche calls it one step closer to independence.
“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” Helen Keller