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Idea Lab - Access Technology

Saturday, April 26, 2014 to Sunday, April 27, 2014

The IdeaLab has returned to RIT!  The IdeaLab is designed to employ innovative multidisciplinary RIT student teams to brainstorm  and solve unique problems. This semester’s focal area is creating products and services that provide access to the blind and visually impaired and individuals with physical and developmental disabilities.

The IdeaLab is a weekend - April 26th & 27th - and involves open brainstorming for solutions to problems.  However, if student teams and the sponsors like the outcomes, these projects can progress into real products, services, and potentially new businesses. Additionally, previous students have employed their solutions, potential prototypes, and interaction with real outside sponsors to develop their portfolio, resumes, application to graduate schools, etc.

The following projects have been identified for this year’s Access Technology IdeaLab:

Heritage Christian Services:

1.     Design and develop a social network for people with Developmental Disabilities (DD) and/or find adaptive ways to connect to existing networks. People with DD need prompts and feedback that foster independence at home, school and work.

2.     Imagine and design a fun and interactive game that promotes hygiene for people with DD and other special needs.

Al Sigl Center:

1.     It is difficult for disabled individuals to move from their vehicle to a scooter or wheelchair independently.  The use of a transfer board helps but there are many problems for the user.  How might we design an object that would make it easier to transfer people from the driver’s seat of a vehicle to their wheelchair or scooter?

2.     Many students in the Mary Cariola Children’s Center lack the ability to isolate their fingers to manipulate technology screens and require the use of a stylus. Many of the stylus’ are too short for students in wheelchair/standers to reach the iPad, touch screen or interactive white board.  Each device requires different a stylus.  How might we design a new tool for students to interact and manipulate the screens based on physical and cognitive needs?

The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI)

1.     Design a fun and interactive game application for the blind and visually impaired.

2.     Closed-circuit television (CCTV) is the use of video cameras to transmit a signal to a specific place, on a limited set of monitors.  Individuals who are visually impaired rely on this technology on a daily basis, however, the current models in the market are not affordable or portable.  How can we design a CCTV that is below $400 while making it easier and more adaptable to the user?

For more information on this event, please contact Sandra Turner ( or register online.

For more infomation on the Idea Lab program, please click here.