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Wednesday, October 26 • 1:00pm - 1:30pm
Braille Books

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We are a group of soon to be eighth grade students from Franklin Borough School in Franklin, NJ. We were inspired to design an app to help students with challenges after reading the book "Wonder" by RJ Palacio—a story about a boy navigating today’s public schools with a disability. While researching disabilities, we discovered that currently there are 60,393 blind students in U.S. schools. We were surprised by the enormity of this number which is why we decided to design an app for the blind. As we continued our research on apps for the visually impaired, we noticed that the majority of apps available are ones that only use audio.

Our app, “Braille Books”, is designed to do just that. "Braille Books" uses vibrations formulated to replicate braille to allow a student to read a text book or book like anyone else by following along with his or her finger. Our research showed us that the majority of blind people use braille in today’s world, so by replicating it with vibrations, they will be able to read silently and “visualize” just like you or I do. Our app will have access to both textbooks and reading books to make it fully functional in school settings. This design allows students to stay engaged if a teacher is reading aloud because he/she can follow along in the book on the app like everyone else as opposed to simply sitting there and listening (which can lead to their mind wandering). This app also allows blind students to participate in DEAR time or silent reading because it will not disturb fellow classmates with audio like other apps. Our app can even be used outside of school on the school bus or in any other public place because it will not disturb others around them, and they will no longer have to remember to carry a set of headphones with them which is required with audio apps.

Our app concept offers an innovative approach to assisting blind students because it is allowing the visually impaired to feel more included in the educational setting. Students are very smart and can tell when a person is going out of his/her way to accommodate them. And in school, the teacher constantly has to do this if there is a visually impaired student in his/her class. This can be frustrating or even embarrassing to some kids, especially ones who want to foster their independence. Our app allows students to participate in activities and lessons like the rest of the class. They no longer have to carry around a set of headphones to listen to a book being read to them or sit in their seats silently while the rest of the class is following along in a textbook. By creating an app that accommodates blind students, we are making their educational experience more enjoyable. They will also learn more because with the app, they are actively participating and engaged in the lessons and activities. “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” -Dr. Seuss.


Wednesday October 26, 2016 1:00pm - 1:30pm EDT
iSTEAM Command Center One Convention Boulevard Atlantic City, NJ 08401

Attendees (1)