A traumatic injury or illness doesn’t care where you’re at in life. Maybe you’re just about to start an education, and those plans have to be put on hold. Or perhaps you’ve enjoyed a long career that you can no longer do because of your limited mobility. You want to work, but aren’t sure how to proceed. What now?
That’s where Project ENABLE comes in. Project ENABLE is a program sponsored by the National Science Foundation in conjunction with New Mexico State University and East Stroudsburg University, and is designed to introduce individuals with mobility disabilities to computer science and computing fields. The idea? An education and career in computing, which has an incredibly high demand, is not only feasible for people with mobility disabilities, but it’s also an optimal career path given their limited mobility. And even more than that – if more people living with disabilities are in the computer sciences field, more future technology will be developed with their needs in mind. Pretty cool, huh?
For several years, Magee has worked with Project ENABLE to host programs in Philadelphia. The program has three components:
- Education: Participants are introduced to computer programming through three three-day workshops.
- Exposure: Participants are introduced to guest speakers and new technologies. They also have an opportunity to tour computer science and disability services departments at a university campus.
- Support: Participants are matched with either a student or professional mentor that can offer support and information about both working in the field and studying the field of computing.
The program lasts one year, and participants and student mentors are paid for their participation. Each session focuses on a particular type of technology. In the last session at Magee, participants built and programmed robots. That’s right – ROBOTS. Check out the photo gallery below to see more. In the next session, running from June 13 – 15, participants will learn how to build and program smart phones, as well as how to make apps.
Year after year, people from across the Philadelphia community take advantage of this great program. And for many, their education doesn’t stop there. Several Project ENABLE alum have gone on to secondary education to earn a degree in computer sciences because of their Project ENABLE experiences. Magee couldn’t be prouder to be part of that.
To learn more about Project ENABLE and how you can get involved, check out project-enable.org.