Joshua Moore, Nikhil Mardhekar, Joseph Willis, Hannah Lacy
Mr. Michael Papp, the manager of Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology
Services (REATS) at the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS), presented our team with the need to increase the contrast of pre-existing braille in order to improve readability of the text by sight. The primary clients, teachers of the visually impaired (TVIs), require that this device be affordable, easy to use, and accurate in order to be incorporated into their teaching process. From these requirements, design constraints were developed, ultimately leading to the creation of an ink slider design that increases the contrast of multiple lines of printed braille per pass. The team hopes to initially make the product available through specialty government-funded centers which provide supplies to TVIs throughout the state, followed by a release through online and retail outlets for approximately $20 per unit. Using a Business Model Canvas, the team has identified Customer Segments and Value Proposition as two of the key components of the business model that will continue to be tested throughout the product development phase in order to satisfy the desires of the market with the functionality of the product. Some anticipated benefits of this device include increased efficiency in classroom settings and improved readability of braille from greater distances, leading to a better overall learning experience for students. After reaching the early adopters, additional individuals that could benefit from this device include parents of children who are visually impaired or individuals with declining vision who are learning braille.