Purdue Research Park-based firm to co-host STEM assistive technology conference

November 6, 2012  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Researchers will speak Nov. 16 during a conference at the Purdue Research Park about their experiences and findings on making science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curricula more accessible to persons with disabilities.

The third annual Independence Science Learning a New Direction (ISLAND) Conference will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time at the Herman and Heddy Kurz Purdue Technology Center, 1281 Win Hentschel Blvd., West Lafayette. It is hosted by Purdue Research Park-based Independence Science LLC.

Participation in the ISLAND Conference is free and open to the public with preregistration. To register, visit bit.ly/islandconference

Cary Supalo, founder and president of Independence Science, said the purpose of the ISLAND Conference is to share methods and technologies that could increase the number of people with disabilities in STEM fields.

"The conference connects teachers, researchers and accessibility experts as we explore alternative teaching methodologies, assistive technology and low-tech adaptations for accessible science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields of study," he said. "Strengthening students' interest in STEM courses could lead to innovative products and processes that could benefit the general public and strengthen economic development."

Scheduled speakers include Joshua Coffee, E.A.S.Y. LLC; Brad Duerstock, Purdue University; Jordan Harshman, Miami University (Ohio); Mick Isaacson, Independence Science; Steve Mannheimer, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; Lillian Rankel, MDW Educational Services; Dave Schleppenbach, gh LLC; and Bernie Wulle, Purdue University.

Supalo said presentation topics will include using short, complex collages of sound effects and music called audemes to interpret visual concepts; developing Talking LabQuest, a data collection tool with text-to-speech software that makes data on its screen audible; and Purdue University's "Able Flight" program that promotes opportunities for people with disabilities to become licensed pilots.

About Independence Science LLC

Officials at Independence Science are making their expertise available to help school districts, colleges and universities, and state rehabilitation agencies across the country meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements in the science curriculum. These technologies are being made available to further serve as a dissemination tool to benefit any blind and low-vision student in the United States.

About Purdue Research Park

The Purdue Research Park has the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country in four locations across Indiana. The park network is home to about 200 companies that employ 4,000 people and are located in West Lafayette, Merrillville, Indianapolis and New Albany.

Purdue Research Park contact:

Steve Martin, 765-588-3342, sgmartin@prf.org


Roger Tower, marketing director, 866-862-9665, rtower@independencescience.com

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