Sunday, May 4, 2008

Student design at Univ. of Illinois

An industrial design class at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign takes on rehabilitation engineering. Students were required to put their design skills to work to design items for their fellow students, with some positive results. <Link to Article>

I always cringe when I hear about a "disability awareness day" on a college campus or employer which has people use a wheelchair or blindfold to allow people to know what it's like to be disabled. While awareness is great, this approach likely creates more sympathy and "awareness" how difficult it must be for these poor unfortunate disabled people.
I love this project for the prime reason that it gets students to look at how to make the individual more independent, and empowered. It demands that they create solutions, rather than stopping at awareness.

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