Students Showcase Inventions to Assist Disabled

Two teams of Manhattan College students worked with a New York State agency to improve workplace efficiency for disabled people.

Students demonstrating tremor stabilizing gloveTwo teams of Manhattan College students recently traveled to Albany, New York to present their ideas for improving workplace efficiency for disabled individuals.

The presentation took place at the annual New York State Industries for the Disabled (NYSID) CREATE Symposium, which connects student engineers from colleges and universities across New York State with NYSID member organizations that employ individuals with disabilities.

Guided by Zahra Shahbazi, Ph.D., an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, the two Manhattan College teams worked with Lifespire, a nonprofit with locations in all five boroughs of New York City, as well as Long Island, and Westchester and Ulster Counties.

Syed Abid ’18, Nely Flores ’18, Muhammad Mahmood ’18, and Sandra Rios ’18 worked on a labeling machine that peels the backing off a label more efficiently. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Andry ’18, ’20 (M.S.), Edgar Elias ’18, Luis Hoyos ’18 and Krysta Jurkovic ’18 focused on creating a stabilizing glove that helps reduce hand tremors, increasing productivity and timeliness in the packaging process.

CREATE, or Cultivating Resources for Employment with Assistive Technology, aims to solve workplace challenges for people with disabilities by pairing NYSID not-for-profit members with students and their professors.

At the end of the school year, NYSID members get to put a new technology to good use, and students go into their careers knowing that they've made a difference for this workforce.

By Pete McHugh