Grantee PACER Center highlights Innovation Lab project in Pacesetter

February 20, 2019

Paul’s Pals partnered with grantee PACER Center from 2017-2018 to create the Innovation Lab. This state-of-the-art facility is full of assistive technology to help children with disabilities to learn about the STEM fields. Read the article from the 2019 Winter Pacesetter below.

PACER’s Innovation Lab, presented by Paul’s Pals, is the new center for PACER projects on assistive technology, including the Tech for Teens Club, Tech for Girls Club, and EX.I.T.E. Camp. Students with disabilities come together to learn about emerging assistive technology, as well as create and collaborate with technology and learn about new and emerging technologies like virtual reality.

“Paul’s Pals is thrilled to be a part of the Innovation Lab, providing kids of all abilities the opportunity to explore the world around them through technology,” said Jennifer Lewin, Paul’s Pals Executive Director.

“The Innovation Lab is great because whether you are a beginner with technology or advanced, we have something to make your experience great,” said Paul Sanft, assistive technology specialist at PACER’s Simon Technology Center.

The Innovation Lab offers a safe place to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) for students with any disability. They can learn to code, create their own websites, explore the basics of 3D printing, and create, program, and draw with robots. The Innovation Lab also hosts unique projects for parents and professionals, including workshops and live-stream events.

Some of the cutting-edge tools offered in the Innovation Lab include:

Clevertouch interactive display (height adjustable)
• Allows learners to interact with the material presented for a more immersive learning experience.

Electronic height adjustable tables
• Provides comfortable access for individuals in wheelchairs, smaller children, or for standing. Hue-changing, non-flicker LED lighting
• Helps eliminate stress for individuals with sensitivity to lighting. Hue-changing options allow for a warmer or cooler tone to help manage relaxation (warm) or concentration (cool).

Alternative seating options
• Provides many ways to help students stay focused. Ball chairs, for example, can help students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) release energy while staying seated.

Alternative keyboards, mice, and computer access devices
• A wide variety of devices to help people interact with computers and tablets, like keyless keyboards, switch interfaces, touch screens, braille screen readers, and more

To see the original article in the Winter 2019 Pacesetter, click here.