College Students Create Device that Helps Legally Blind Students Take Notes

Assistive technology brings classroom notes back to low-vision and legally blind students.

Remember the days of sitting in class, copying down what your teacher scribbled on the board? Now imagine the frustration you'd feel if you couldn't see that board. That's the situation San Diego State University student Jeremy Poincenot found himself in almost three years ago after contracting an extremely rare disorder called Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy. As Poincenot shares in the above video, he'd lost his love for the college experience due to his inability to fully follow what was going on in class. That is, until he connected with Note-Taker, an assistive technology that helps "low-vision and legally blind students take notes in class as quickly and effectively as their fully-sighted peers."

The designers of this innnovative technology, Team Note-Taker, are four Arizona State University students—Michael Astrauskas, David Hayden, Shashank Srinivas and Qian Yan. Hayden, who is himself legally blind, inspired the team's development of the technology, which "combines a portable, custom-designed camera and a touch-screen tablet PC to allow the user to simultaneously view live video and take typed or handwritten notes on a split-screen interface."

Last week, Team Note-Taker placed second in software design in the Microsoft Imagine Cup, a technology competition for socially conscious high school and college students. With the learning capacity of countless students around the globe affected by vision loss, the development of this technology is life-changing. It's inspiring to see how it's transformed Poincenot's life by giving him the ability to fully participate in an academic experience again.

via The Hill / Twitter

President Trump's appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland was a mixed bag.

The theme of the event was climate change, but Trump chose to use his 30 minutes of speaking time to brag about the "spectacular" U.S. economy and encouraged world leaders to invest in America.

He didn't mention climate change once.

Keep Reading
The Planet
via David Leavitt / Twitter and RealTargetTori / Twitter

Last Friday, GOOD reported on an infuriating incident that went down at a Massachusetts Target.

A Target manager who's come to be known as "Target Tori," was harassed by Twitter troll David Leavitt for not selling him an $89 Oral-B Pro 5000 toothbrush for a penny.

He describes himself as a "multimedia journalist who has worked for CBS, AXS, Yahoo, and others."

Keep Reading

The Australian bushfires have claimed 27 human lives, an estimated 1 billion animals are feared dead, and thousands of properties have been completely decimated.

The fires were caused by extreme heat and dryness, the result of 2019 being the country's hottest year on record, with average temperatures 1.52C above the 1961-1990 average.

The area hit hardest by the fires, New South Wales, also had its hottest year on record, with temperatures rising 1.95C above average.

Keep Reading
The Planet