Students Work to Improve Workplace Conditions for the Disabled

Students and faculty aim to assist custodial workers with physical and developmental disabilities.

nysid_768x576.jpgA group of Manhattan College students and faculty are using their engineering expertise to create a friendlier workplace for the disabled.

Adam Blandeburgo ’17, Nicholas May ’17, Lauren Zavaglia ’17 and Brett Zingaro ’17, under the tutelage of Zahra Shahbazi, Ph.D., assistant professor of mechanical engineering and Brent Horine, Ph.D., assistant professor of electrical engineering, presented their prototype for assistive technology in front of a group of state legislators, industry officials and other students and faculty from across the state in Albany on April 26.

The students' prototype includes a partially-automated system to weigh and load hardware into boxes and a computerized apparatus to accurately and efficiently dispense chemicals for custodial workers with physical and developmental disabilities.

The presentation was part of the third annual CREATE Symposium, hosted by New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. (NYSID), to showcase prototypes of technology inventions designed to increase productivity and improve the livelihoods of New Yorkers with disabilities.

CREATE (Cultivating Resources for Employment with Assistive TEchnology) is an initiative sponsored by NYSID that gives college engineering students the opportunity to work closely with rehabilitation agencies to make a difference across New York State.