Over the last few months, three graduate students from the Pace University Pleasantville campus sought out a way to boost confidence in others as part of their graduate studies.
Nicole Morandi, Jennifer Simon and Janelle Wallace discovered a way to connect with those who have disabilities in a friendly and fun way. Through their Technology Science course #642 “Computers, Hardware and Troubleshooting” with Dr.Jean Coppola, they each brainstormed different ways that they could give back to the community.
Jennifer Simon and Janelle Wallace had the idea to invent a stylus that canbe used on iPads and other touch screen e-Devices. Their self-made stylus is different from the cold and uncomfortable metal/plastic pointers that are the norm for alternative tools. Their goal was to make sure it was inexpensive, flexible and adjustable for people who have limited hand mobility or function.
Named Smile Gear, these styluses also are multicolored and soft to touch. Simon and Wallace stated, “ Not only are they an aid to these individuals, but it will also boost their confidence by putting a smile on their facesand making them feel ‘cool’ about using it.”
This team not only created a working device, but Morandi and Wallace are also volunteering their time at The Kensington Assisted Living in White Plains. Each week they meet with four residents for one-on-one computer lessons, which is a way that they have found can also boost confidence within the elderly community. Each of these residents has been diagnosed with early to moderate stages of dementia. Through teaching them how to use their personal iPad devices or sending emails on the computersto their loved ones, the grad students have seen the seniors feel better about themselvesand realize how much they are capable of doing.
These three students have shown that technology is a great resource for anyone no matter the age or disability. Implementing new ideas or making use of the devices around us can really make people feel good aboutthemselves because, after all, a small gesture can mean a lot. Simon also volunteered with Cerebral Palsy of Westchester, N.Y. where she helpedfind hardware solutions to help one attendee more successfully use his wheelchair-adapted iPad. Previously, the iPad would slowly twist and move away from his reach asit slipped down the metal piping on this chair.
However, after Simon met with the CPW and staff, they determined how to make his iPad more secure by attaching an additional part. Simon then procured and donated the part so that this problem would be resolvedpermanently.As one of our favorite super heroes Spiderman says, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Together these three women have not only moved closer toachieving their masters degrees, but they have learned that knowledge is best shared andcan be used to care for empower those in need an our community!
To learn more about these projects, visit their website at:http://paceuniversity2012.wix.com/victoryhardware