Project: Possibility is a non-profit community service organization started in 2006 by the students and graduates of the University of Southern California, with the inspiration coming from Christopher Leung, then a Masters degree student of Computer Science and Engineering in the college.
Project: Possibility’s aim is to make the world more accessible and inclusive to the disabled using computer technology. They are planning an online community – a meeting place for professionals, amateurs and the disabled to come together and help each other design tools that will help the disabled overcome their limitations effectively. All products that are created will be open source and freely available for use by the global community through the Internet.
While these plans are still in the making, Project: Possibility is tapping the genius of youngsters with ideas to share. They recently sponsored a competition for designing software programs that would help the disabled expand their capabilities. Among the ideas generated were:
§ A bar code reader that would allow visually impaired shoppers to point a cell phone at shelves in a departmental store and hear descriptions of products and their prices
§ A program, called Community Captioner, that integrates subtitles on YouTube videos to help the hearing impaired ‘hear’ what is happening.
§ A program, Mind Control, that allows the physically disabled to control a computer mouse using neural impulses.
Another competition for university students is planned to be held in February. You can visit them at: http://projectpossibility.org/index.php
We look forward to the innovative ideas the youngsters will come up with this time, and for the progress towards integrating their programs in usable products.