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Florida State University:  Department of Education

Mapping the Campus for Students Who are Blind

GENERAL:  The Trekker GPS system designed for use by persons who are blind or visually impaired is manufactured by VisuAide and patented as trade name Trekker.  The Trekker is produced in two configurations:  with an Compaq IPAQ PDA or with the PacMate by Freedom Scientific.  The street-based maps for the Trekker provide some information on the FSU campus, but will require customization to be usable for the target students.  The outcome of the project is to “map” the FSU campus with Points of Interest that would allow a blind student to navigate the campus with no or very little assistance.

Bruce Alsup from OSET will serve as the overall project manager.  This project envisions the FSU summer intern graduate students using equipment provided by VisuAide and Freedom Scientific.  The student teachers will first map the FSU campus and then work with newly arriving undergraduate students as part of their campus Orientation and Mobility (O&M) training.  Training for the student teachers will be provided by a team from OSET, FS, and VisuAide:  Bruce Alsup, Jeff Bazer, and Louis Duchene respectively.  Training will be provided to undergraduate students by the student teacher interns and OSET.  FSU Department of Education will provide an on-site project supervisor, presumably Kathryn O'Farrell. 

TIMEFRAME:

·        Preparation and intern training                                                April-May 15 2004

·        Customize mapping of FSU campus                                           May-June 2004

·        Undergraduate student O&M                                                         June-July 2004

DESIRED OUTCOMES: 

·        Accessibility for O&M on the FSU Campus will be dramatically increased.

·        Newly arriving undergraduate students will be able to navigate the FSU campus independently.

·        Graduate student interns will gain invaluable experience and training for using technology devises coupled with O&M techniques.