iSTEP 2013: Development and Assessment of Assistive Technology for a School for the Blind in India

Madeleine Clute, Madelyn Gioffre, Poornima Kaniarasu, Aditya Kodkany, Vivek Nair, Shree Lakshmi Rao, Aveed Sheikh, Avia Weinstein, Ermine A. Teves, Mary Beatrice Dias and M Bernardine Dias
Tech. Report, CMU-RI-TR-16-30, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, June, 2016

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Assistive devices for the visually impaired are often prohibitively expensive for potential users in developing communities. This report describes field research aimed at developing and assessing assistive technology that is economically accessible and relevant to this population of visually impaired individuals. The work discussed was completed at the Mathru School for the Blind as part of the iSTEP internship program, which is organized by CMU’s TechBridgeWorld research group. Eight CMU student interns were recruited to work on this project over the course of nine weeks in Bangalore, India. In particular, this report details the development of two affordable technologies that aid in the teaching of braille writing to visually impaired children. These tools were created through an iterative process that incorporated user feedback at different stages of design and development. Findings from this research indicate that such assistive tools can enhance the education experience for visually impaired children in India, and can also facilitate the teaching process for their educators. In addition to technology development, at the request of the local partner institution, researchers conducted training sessions at the Mathru School for the Blind to enhance teachers’ computer literacy and skills. This report outlines the structure of these lessons for both sighted and blind individuals, as well as outcomes from the training sessions and feedback from participating teachers.

author = {Madeleine Clute and Madelyn Gioffre and Poornima Kaniarasu and Aditya Kodkany and Vivek Nair and Shree Lakshmi Rao and Aveed Sheikh and Avia Weinstein and Ermine A. Teves and Mary Beatrice Dias and M Bernardine Dias},
title = {iSTEP 2013: Development and Assessment of Assistive Technology for a School for the Blind in India},
year = {2016},
month = {June},
institution = {Carnegie Mellon University},
address = {Pittsburgh, PA},
number = {CMU-RI-TR-16-30},
} 2017-09-13T10:38:22-04:00