Mississippi School for the Blind

At the Mississippi School for the Blind, the Project works with a class of blind, non-verbal, non-ambulatory children with cerebral palsy. With their sense of hearing intact, and with the ability to control a single-switch interface, three technologies have shown the most promise: The IAM Messenger, the augmentative communications system, and the various environmental control units (ECU) used to control regular electrical devices. So far, the students have learned to control a blender with which they make smoothies, and a paper shredder. It is a modest start by normally-abled students’ standards, but it represents a significant achievement for these severely disabled children. In these simple tasks can be seen a future of almost infinite expansion in the area of environmental control: The same technology and techniques can be used to control an ever-growing number of electrical devices, from stereos to air conditioners to microwave ovens.

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