We work with Bridge2Africa, an organization based on Johannesburg, South Africa that focuses on improving the lives of South Africans through technology. Justice Gumbochuma, our connection to Bridge2Africa has asked us to focus on assistive technology for blind students in South Africa. Without the necessary skills to perform in both educational and workplace settings, people who are blind cannot perform the best that they can. The Blind South African Population have extreme difficulty finding job opportunities, given the unemployment rate nearing 97%. On the educational side, the modernization of the workforce prohibit blind workers from effectively using complex devices, especially when trying to access the internet. This occurs largely from younger students not having the exposure to this technology when learning Braille. The Sibonile School for the Blind has requested for an assistive device that will allow blind student to navigate the internet using Braille.

The proposed solution for this problem involves a two-prong approach to using the internet without any visual stimuli. On the software side, text on a web page is translated to Braille in a format that is simple navigate and avoids information that is superfluous to the non-visual user. The hardware side displays the Braille on a refreshable display, and takes in inputs that allow the user to navigate the internet. The work to date has been planning and creating a scope.

Team Members:

Rajat Arora, Sophomore, Mechanical Engineering

Nadia Jafar, Sophomore, Computer Systems Engineering

Abbey Jansen, Sophomore, Chemical Engineering

Phillippe Adriane Inocencio, Sophomore, Computer Systems Engineering

Robert Lattus, Freshman, Electrical Engineering

 

Community Partner: Justice Gumbochuma – Coordinator for Bridge2Africa

Others Involved/Effected: Sibonile School for the Blind, South African Students that are blind