Friday, May 2, 2008

Robots for Blogging Against Disablism Day

Since there's already a partially new model up for today, and I thought it would be fun to try jumping on a blog-on-a-specific-topic-day bandwagon, here's an interesting report about how the University of Alberta is working with St. Gabriel Catholic Elementary School in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to help severely mobility impaired children express themselves. Of course, what makes it relevant material for this blog is that the robots used as assistive technology in this school are (like many robot prototypes that are built to allow for easy on-the-fly changes) built out of LEGO® MINDSTORMS components. While the technology here is cool, and certainly something I'd like to hear more about, the important thing here is that this is really making a difference by helping someone to have more control of their own life. Too often, disabled people who don't have access to assistive devices like these find that other people are trying to speak for them and make snap-judgments about how capable they truly are. This type of technology is really important because it lets people speak for themselves - and let the world know that they really are "in there" as much as anyone else.

No comments: