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Three exhibitors from the RIT conference on Effective Access Technology received awards for their innovative ideas that could benefit people with disabilities.
The two-day conference, held June 17 and 18 at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center, featured 72 speakers, exhibits and poster sessions. Nearly 300 people attended the event.
Awards were given to presenters for the first time to help recognize participants and to encourage community partners to become more involved.
The awards and winners are:
Al Sigl Community of Agencies Award for the best poster presentation, given for clarity of presentation, technical merit and impact. The award was given to C-Print Mobile: Michael Stinson, Donna Easton, Lisa Elliot, Justin Mahar and Pamela Francis, all faculty or staff from RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The C-Print Mobile app allows users to view captioning in a variety of settings, for example, in traditional classrooms, labs and meetings. Users can also use the mobile app to view captioning in remote settings, such as a classroom field trip.
The Paradigm Award for the most innovative new access technology was sponsored by Paradigm Environmental Services. It was given to TouchStream Solutions and its founder, Joel Benzel. His idea is a tablet-based homecare system that helps the elderly and people with disabilities manage daily activities, chronic health conditions and medication, and keep them connected to their family caregivers. The award comes with a $1,000 cash prize, six months free rent and services from RIT’s Venture Creations business incubator and an arranged meeting with an angel investor group.
L-3 Award for best adaptive technology went to e-NABLE; Jon Schull, founder and RIT research scientist, and RIT biomedical engineering students Jascha Wilcox, Jessa Dermitt and Denis DeMartino. E-NABLE is a global volunteer assistive technology network that can utilize 3D printing to manufacture prosthetics. The company is built on an infrastructure of electronic communications, 3D printing and good will.
Judges for the Paradigm Award were: Geoffrey Rosenberger, managing member of Lily Pond Ventures; Robert P. Jacobson, president of L-3’s Tactical SATCOM and Global Communications Solutions; Dennis M. Mullen, managing partner of The Mullen Group; Justin Magee, director of marketing at Paradigm Environmental Services; Cpl. Chad Pfeifer, retired, United States Army; and Tech. Sgt. David Romanowsky, retired, United States Air Force.
The judges for the Al Sigl and L-3 awards were: Nathan Claes, Ph.D., health science specialist, VA Medical Center, Center of Excellence, Canandaigua; Shaun Hoppel, auxiliary aids and services coordinator, State University of New York at Buffalo; Amber Kallassy, coordinator, Services for Students with Disabilities at Monroe Community College; Shari Mazzella, director of programs and services with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Upstate New York Chapter; and Abbey Simmons, coordinator of Information Technology at Lifetime Assistance.