Could an approach developed to help deaf and hearing-impaired undergraduates overcome educational disadvantages work for anyone–including mainstream K-12 students who struggle with reading and math? Scott Bellinger, an instructor at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, America’s only technical college for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, thinks so.
When University of California, Berkeley senior Austin Whitney walked across the stage at graduation on May 14, 2011, it was more than just a personal triumph. His rise from a wheelchair represented a triumph for paralyzed people everywhere–and for engineers whose “adaptive technology” designs have helped disabled individuals overcome mobility limitations.
A British product-design student has invented a wheel-chair alternative whose legs can lift up and step over obstacles. Martin Harris, 21, hopes his invention will give people with mobility issues more freedom. He also believes his design, which was inspired by the kinetic sculpture of Dutch engineer-artist Theo Jansen, has potential uses in agricultural machinery or military vehicles.