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Local Students Creating Inventions To Help The Blind, Visually Impaired

By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Those who work with the blind and visually impaired are carefully watching as MIT scientists continue their work on a new device to help them read.

At the same time, students at the Overbrook School for the Blind are working on some apps of their own!

"A couple of years ago, the students worked with the students from Drexel and they created four different applications," explains education and professional development Director Jackie Brennan. "One of them was a way to magnify print and change the color contrast to enable them to read better."

Brennan says that work will continue in the fall as the kids will work on ways to make popular games such as "Minecraft" user-friendly for the blind and visually impaired. As for the MIT invention, that would literally read a printed page in real time.

"It is a way to give an immediate access to print, and that is one of the most challenging areas for the blind," says Brennan.

But Brennan says this doesn't mean that braille skills still aren't needed:

"With all the technology we use...we still use pencil and paper. Braille is the same for a person who is blind. It is their paper and pencil."

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