The LightAide: Using Interactive Light to Engage, Do, and Learn!
by Kacy Karlen and Judy Vesel
Beneath the imposing Gothic spires and towering pines of its 33-acre campus, Perkins School for the Blind, located in Watertown, MA, is an institution brimming with innovations in assistive tool development and integrated technology use. Despite—or perhaps because of—being steeped in nearly 200 years of history, today’s Perkins is ever evolving to meet the needs of a changing world and an increasingly diverse student population. In recent years, Perkins has become an experiential design and development lab for the newest cutting-edge assistive technologies.
In partnership with the Perkins community and with Philips Color Kinetics, one of the nation’s premier LED lighting-system providers,TERC researchers are evaluating and developing instructional support materials for a new device called the LightAide. Together, these three Boston-area organizations are exploring the potential usability of the LightAide as an assistive tool for students with visual impairments to use in classroom, home, and therapy settings.