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 Friday, June 25, 2010

For persons with disabilities, particularly those with low vision, adapting to university surroundings can be a daunting task.  While many primary and secondary education institutions have specialized teachers to help those with disabilities, not every university has those same capabilities and resourses, therby possibly preventing or discouraging disabled students from attending their dream school.  Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, realized that htis obstacle is one that should be ameliorated.  Using funds from a grant from the Greene County Developmental Disabilities Board, the school is working on launching the Drury University Children's Center for the Visually Impaired.  Drury just completed the launch of a pilot program, with students ranging in age from high school freshman to local community college students.

This program is designed to help transition students from high shcool to university using a myriad of courses and technologies.  The pilot program inlcuded a technology course that instructed students on how to use a barcode scanner to identify foods and even color-code clothes.  Other technologies to which the students were introduced included a portable GPS device with Braille readers so that students could locate various campus buildings, along with a magnifying glass designed for low-vision students that is powerful enough to read something written on a white board.  While right now the program is localized, this year only students from Missouri and Arkansas participated, with donations and funding, Drury hopes to expand the program to students from other states in the upcoming years.

(Sources: News-Leader.com and Drury University)

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