Dr. Marion Hersh is the instructor for Oliver Ozioko, a PH.D candidate who, with two other women, created a “text-to-Braille” device that will scan and instantly turn the printed material into Braille. This will allow students or employees and many others to receive handouts or other printed material and have it available for their purpose allowing them to read or have access to printed materials at the same time as their sighted peers.
Dr. Marion Hersh’s bio follows demonstrating her involvement with the blind, deafblind and persons with autism:
Dr Marion Hersh is an associate professor at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Their first degree was in mathematics and Their doctorate in control engineering. They have been working in the area of assistive technology for about the last 15 years. They carried out a research project on mobility for blind people with support of a Leverhulme Research Fellowship. This included interviews with 300 blind, partially sighted and deafblind people in 10 different countries, investigation of different travel technologies and visits to their developers and interviews with orientation and mobility trainers. Last year during a visit to Brazil Marion participated in the evaluation of an electronic cane developed specifically for Brazil and the evaluation of different designs of audio traffic lights.
Marion is a main co-author and co-editor of two books on assistive technology published by Springer Verlag. They organized a series of conferences on assistive technology for people with vision and hearing impairments in different countries in Europe, featuring bursaries and training for young and disabled researchers. They are organizing a conference next year in Brazil on Accessible infrastructures for the mobility and education of blind people.
Marion is also leading the Alternative research project A society fit for autistics: overcoming the barriers, challenging stereotypes and enabling autistics to take their place in the world. All the partners, including Marion, are autistic, and it is investigating barriers and looking for solutions from an autistic perspective. Marion has been organizing workshops in Poland on autism and communication for teachers and parents of autistic children together with a close Polish blind friend, Hania. With Hania's help, a set of pins and a wooden box, they have learnt the Braille alphabet (including additional Polish letters), but need to find time for more practice in order to learn to read fluently.
Co-Chair: Ken Metz
Co-Chair: Alan Lemly