Persons with disability, FITA, academia and students worked together to make a difference
A team of mechanical engineering students at the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology have developed a device to allow visually impaired people to differentiate between euro notes of different value.
The Euro Note Reader, which is the size of a credit card and can be carried in a wallet, consists of a light aluminium sheet with five notches. Each notch corresponds with the unique width of €5, €10, €20, €50, €100 and €500 bank notes.
Visually impaired people can compare the width of the particular note with the appropriate notch on the guide, with the corresponding notch indicating the value of the note to the person.
The students, who are in the first year of a foundation course at the Institute of Engineering and Transport, yesterday presented the devices to the Foundation for Information Technology Accessibility (FITA) to be distributed to those who could benefit from their use.
“The project not only enhances accessibility, which in itself helps improve the quality of life of persons with disability but also champions the values promoted by FITA and MCAST, whereby persons with disability, academia and talented students worked together in order to achieve a shared goal and make a difference,” said foundation CEO Stanley Debono.
The devices were developed as part of the students’ basic mechanical engineering practice, making use of hand and machine tools.
MCAST principal Stephen Cachia said the exercises facilitated learning and instilled a sense of pride and social responsibility.
“This is an excellent example which shows how our foundation courses prepare our students to continue on to higher level courses,” he said. “The manner in which our staff guided our students in this project which also has strong element of social commitment, is exemplary.”
The students who took part in the project were Jacob Cauchi, Tennielle Mizzi, Oumaima Assif and Kyle Azzopardi.