An interesting concept is being undertaken by the American Foundation for the Blind in how to demonstrate assistive household devices to people who have lost or are losing their sight.
In a Dallas model home for the blind, the AFB has a physical facility that allows the visually impaired person to take a tour of the actual adaptive devices and products that can increase independent living. The model home is already open to the public and will have its grand opening on Oct. 27. Plans are also in the works to make a virtual tour of the home available over the web.
The web tour will be helpful for those folks who don't live near Dallas. This will allow people to see what the house has who would not otherwise be able to check out the offerings, but this virtual tour is limited in its scope. You can only see the items on the video monitor and the target audience is visually impaired. It will take some smart web designing to effectively communicate the displayed information in alternate formats. It can be done.
Perhaps this model home is a concept that can be replicated. Maybe each state that has a blind rehab center for adults could set up a model home to show their clients when they are at the center receiving services. I know the Criss Cole Center in Austin has some aspects of this in the kitchen areas, in the communications department, and the tech center.
This model home is truly an innovative concept that can have broader application if applied to different disabilities. Think about a home designed for a quadraplegic. The adaptive devices that would be demonstrated would apply not only to somebody with that specific disability, but could be explored for use by people with other disabilities.
While this information is not specifically about higher education, it does concern a group that this blog is targeted towards and I'm posting this information here as a resource for any students that might find interest in what is offered.