A teacher from Valhalla has turned into an inventor to help the blind at a school in the Bronx.
Daniel Lubiner’s students are also co-inventors in creating a tablet for the blind and visually impaired that will help the visually impaired do tasks those with sight can do.
“It started about five years ago when I was told, ‘You’re going to be teaching the art for the blind and low-visioned,’ and I tell you, honestly, I was scared,” Lubiner says.
It didn’t take long for Lubiner to see that his students needed more.
“I called them my co-designers because I was talking to them the whole time. ‘What do you guys want? What do you do every day?’ How do you use that electronic?’” Lubiner recalls.
That’s when he invented Braille Doodle and the Touchpad Pro. Two devices that gets Kristen Smedly, the mother of two visually impaired boys, excited.
“There has never been, in all of my searches, something that gives you access to literacy and art,” Smedly says.
The products would give students like Georgette Ayebea an option to connect the iPad Pro to a television and be able to read what’s happening.
“It’s hard to ask people all the time like ‘Oh, what is that or what are they doing?’ If you’re watching a movie,” Ayebea says.
The goal is to have the Braille Doodle in the market by September and the iPad Pro ready to go in the next three years. Devices are aimed to give those visually impaired opportunities to keep thriving.
“Seventy percent of those who are blind and low-visioned, around 70% are unemployed, OK? Because of not being able to access things,” Lubiner says.
All that is left is the funding. A project like this cost millions of dollars but they aren’t giving up. They believe devices like this will be revolutionary.
“That’s all that stands between all the kids having these in their hands in September to start school. The only thing standing in the way is the funding,” Smedly says.