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As the only researcher in our department focused on software for the visually impaired it was important to me to recruit others to join the project. I worked pro-bono with a three engineering student teams interested in developing applications for the blind. Their projects focused on two sectors of navigation; physical and cyber.

Physical navigation relates to tools utilized when walking, moving or traversing a physical space. While cyber centers around navigation of virtual world (see SerpUI for more). The cyber navigation project related to virtual navigation of books... pretty cool in my opinion :)

Guide Day

@icon-info-circle A day for engineering students to learn about blindness.

In order to connect students with their end-user I felt it was necessary to recruit field experts and blind individuals to participate in activities and Q&A with the students. We had a day full of O&M (mobility) drills and a panel for discussion.

The lessons learned by our students filled them motivation and a new perspective on how to approach these unique engineering problems.

Here the students are gathered around learning from Valerie and Ka Students gathered around a teacher looking at a screen Source: Guy Meyer

Some of the activies and exercises that were planned for the day (creds: Valerie) Students walking in a hallway while learning about blindness mobility Source: Guy Meyer

Person providing a guide walk to another blindfolded person Source: Guy Meyer

Thank you Valerie Kitazaki, Ka Li, and Rachel (from W. Ross) for taking your time to share your experiences with our students!