Carnegie Mellon students to develop technology for visually impaired

August 1, 2013 12:15 pm

Carnegie Mellon students to develop technology for visually impaired

Doha 01st August 2013 : A group of eight students from Carnegie Mellon University are conducting technology research projects in India to benefit the blind. Students will spend the summer in Bangalore, India, engaging in various researches.

Aveed Sheikh, a business administration student at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, and his fellow Pittsburgh teammates, Madeleine Clute, Maddie Gioffre, Poornima Kaniarasu, Aditya Kodkany, Vivek Nair, Shree Lakshmi Rao and Avia Weinstein, are the students who are working in India in partnership with Mathru Educational Trust for the Blind.

They were selected for the 2013 iSTEP (innovative Student Technology ExPerience) internship which is a unique summer research internship programme that provides the opportunity to conduct technology research projects in underserved communities around the world.

iSTEP was created in 2009 by CMU research group TechBridgeWorld and is designed to give interns real-world experiences.

“Interacting directly with the staff and students at Mathru has helped me better learn and understand various perspectives. Everyone here has a unique life story to tell, which makes my work even more interesting,” said Sheikh.

Mathru Educational Trust for the Blind includes Mathru School for the Blind, which is a non-profit and voluntary institution to educate and rehabilitate visually impaired children and adults. It is founded in 2001.In 2011, the trust launched a new centre, educating children who are deaf or have multiple disabilities.

The 2013 team is working on several projects that support visually impared students who are learning to write in Braille. They are further developing the software device connected to a computer that allows blind students to learn the placement of different dots in a Braille cell.

Rao, an iSTEP intern said:“Mathru is an inspirational partner; we have relished working with the staff dedicated to teaching differently-abled students.”

The interns will assess the needs of the new multi-disability centre and hand over the results to the iSTEP 2014 team.

About the Author

Kalim Ansari is a Working Partner and Contributor to Qatar Chronicle. A post-graduate from Oxford University, Kalim began his career reporting on unrest in black townships, including Soweto, in South Africa during the apartheid era. He later worked as a journalist in Sydney, Australia. Kalim has worked as a journalist in the Middle East for over a decade. He has reported for a number of major international publications from Gaza, Jerusalem, Beirut and Cairo

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