Apprentices from defense sector supplier Leonardo have just installed special motion-detecting devices in the Royal Blind School to help therapists keep track of visually-impaired students. Everyone involved in this project hopes this new technology will give students with disabilities a greater sense of independence.
The technology Leonardo apprentices installed in the Royal Blind School uses radio frequencies to tell where students using computerized wheelchairs are. Once these sensors pick up information from a tab on the student's wheelchair, they announce the area the student is outside. All of these monitors have been placed in specific areas along the Smart path that all computerized wheelchairs run on.
For their design inspiration, Leonardo apprentices applied the principles of central locking design. The four apprentices who work on this project say their design could be easily replicated in other schools for the visually impaired.
It was very important for the apprentices that audio files triggered on these sensors were as soothing as possible. The recordings chosen by apprentices were designed to make the school feel more like a home. As of today, there have been no reported issues with the new Smart monitoring system.
Before installing these motion-detecting trackers, teachers at the Royal Blind School had to use symbols which they posted to a wall to keep tabs on where students were. This system was a nuisance for pupils in Smart wheelchairs because they would have to ask therapists to remove the symbols before moving to another room.
The Leonardo apprentices' work was celebrated in this year's Scottish Apprenticeship Week. A few other employers celebrating in this year's Scottish Apprenticeship Week included Di Maggio's Restaurant Group, Stoats, and Kingdom Housing Association. Anyone can find more information on apprenticeships in Scotland at www.apprenticeships.scot.
Founded in 1793, the Edinburgh Royal Blind School is one of the many branches of the UK charity Royal Blind. A few other organizations Royal Blind operates include Forward Vision and the Scottish Braille Press. To find out more about the Royal Blind School, check out this link.