The Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities is taking the mission of maximizing ability and opportunity beyond MSU’s campus and all the way to India. RCPD and the College of Engineering continued a multiyear partnership last year, charging sixty EGR100 students with the task of creating 3D anatomy models for students in India who are blind.
One of the primary functions of RCPD is linking individuals with technology, resources, and education so that they can achieve all of their goals. Stephen Blosser, an Assistive Technology specialist, harnesses new technologies at RCPD, and now he wants to find a way to share them with people around the world who are in need and may not have access to the same resources.
Blosser worked with the Asian Aid School for the Blind in Bobbili, India to advance technologies in the form of accessible textbooks, lab experiments and other tactile images. Talking models of different body parts enhanced the ability of the school to teach anatomy to blind students. These 3D models, created by MSU engineering students, enrich learning for blind children and adults through textured surfaces, Braille labels and books, as well as voice output.
Technology specialists, students with disabilities, and emerging MSU engineers were inspired to work, learn, and make a difference in their fields through the development of these models.
As the models are deployed in India, EGR100 students can see how their work is changing the prospects of others who are very far away. Joseph Paulson, a teacher at the School for the Blind, contacted Blosser to tell him that, “the students and teachers are excited to see the parts of the human body prepared for the visually challenged”.
Students and their teachers at the School for the Blind in India with their new models
“We can see the dedication and commitment that you along with your team have done. We THANK YOU for helping us in this project and making us a part of the great big university…We will continue to work together for the good of blind students in India.”
RCPD agrees that they will continue to foster this relationship. They are excited that Spartans are continuing to change the lives of others through knowledge, creativity, and inclusiveness.
Blosser would love to see technologies used at RCPD reproduced at the school in India through the ingenuity of more MSU students. Textbooks and educational materials that have been converted to an electronic format are more accessible and readily used at RCPD. Blosser hopes this technology can be cultivated at the school in India so that they can create accessible textbooks independently for their students and others who need these tools in India.
The collaboration between RCPD and the College of Engineering continues again this semester to give more Spartans the opportunity to make a global impact on young students in other countries and right here at MSU. They are striving to develop an electronic device that will allow students who are blind to feel images through haptics and raised parts of computer screens.
Blosser stated, “We will be building more innovative learning tools to help our MSU students who are blind …and we will share these discoveries with our collaborative partners in India.”
“There is a lot of good we can do to help them and also to build resources to help other places in the world.”
Students who are blind work with the anatomy models from MSU!