RIT Hosts Conference To Improve Technologies For The Disabled Community

Jun 17, 2014

In the video above, Dr. Jon Schull, Research Scientist at the RIT Center for MAGIC,  gives a quick explainer on the e-NABLE mechanical hand.

Schull, other technologists and service providers are sharing ideas and solutions in an effort to help improve access and inclusion for those with disabilities.

RIT is holding its annual two-day Effective Access Technology Conference in downtown Rochester. 

  “The hope is that good things will come," says Ryne Raffaelle, the vice president for research at RIT.

The symposium highlights some groundbreaking technologies that are underway. Some of the innovative ideas are developed at RIT. They include a pediatric stander, or a standing wheelchair, which allows a child to be able to move to the front of their classroom and write on the chalk board. The other project they're working on is the smart cane that can have Wi-Fi and direct a blind person through vibrations.

Raffaelle says technological improvements for the disabled are needed now more than ever. He says that’s with the number of veterans living with “service-related disabilities, persons suffering from cognitive challenges.”

“You look at a wheelchair; it looks pretty much like a wheelchair that was built 50 years ago. And, you know, a cane is still a cane. There are so many opportunities to try to improve some of this, to improve access to some of these challenges," Raffaelle says.

RIT has more than 60 technology projects in the works. It is also conducting nearly $16 million in sponsored research.