Crossover applications symposium demonstrates education technology

Supporters of improving education for the blind will take part in demonstrations of new technology May 14 at UCCS as part of the second annual Crossover Applications Symposium.

The symposium’s organizers are Sudhanshu Semwal, professor, Department of Computer Science, Ida Dilwood, director, Office of Disability Services and University Testing, and Bonnie Snyder, a technology consultant for the visually impaired. About 50 community participants including parents, teachers, visually impaired children in grades K-12, and administrators from The Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind, are expected to attend.

The symposium will share examples of state-of-the-art technology to assist blind and visually impaired persons.

The symposium will feature demonstration sites in the Osborne Center for Science and Engineering, the Kraemer Family Library and the Engineering Building. The demonstrations will showcase technologies including screen readers offered by the Office of Disability Services, games for the visually impaired, learning environments for the blind, and touch, sound, graphics, and aroma devices.

“There is clear understanding of the role that technology can play in assisting learning for those who are visually impaired,” Semwal said. “Technological advances have given the blind and visually impaired new and more accessible methods to make use of all sorts of computer-based media and tools used for learning and professional application.”

“Our students are developing new tools in the Games and Media Integration and Computer Science programs which might provide better opportunity for delivery of information and perhaps new freedom to use technology and find employment. We still have a long way to go, but with costs coming down, more technologies being developed and available, and a general awareness of new opportunities to create technologies to serve people with disabilities, we hope that soon most visually impaired people will be able to tap into these new technologies to make their lives easier.”


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