News Release: SUNY Poly Faculty Receive $30,000 SUNY Grant to Establish Library of Methods and Tools for Conventional and Assistive Technology Users

News Release: SUNY Poly Faculty Receive $30,000 SUNY Grant to Establish Library of Methods and Tools for Conventional and Assistive Technology Users

Wednesday, May 17, 2023 - 15:08
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For Release:           Immediate – May 17, 2023
Contact:                  Steve Ference, Director of University Marketing & Communications
                                (518) 429-7742 |

 SUNY IITG grant to fully fund project that can be used by people of all visual abilities

UTICA, NY – Oftentimes, people with visual impairments face pressure to adapt to devices and processes, rather than those devices and processes adapting to meet their needs. While there is knowledge of what technologies may be available, there isn’t a centralized library that contains this potentially life-changing information. A new collaborative effort by a group of SUNY Polytechnic Institute faculty, fully funded by a $30,000 SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grant, looks to create such a resource.

The project, which is called, “Creating Collaboratively Across Visual Abilities (CCAVA): Open Library of Methods and Tools for Collaboration and Connection among Conventional and Assistive Technology Users,” will create and connect tools and modes for composing and sharing academic and creative works that afford more universal access for authors, editors, and audiences.

The CCAVA team consists of Associate Professor of History Dr. Kristina Boylan; Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology Dr. Daniel Jones; Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology Dr. Jiayue (Joyce) Shen; Assistant Professor of Creative Arts and Technology Dr. Ana Jofre; and Director of Student Accessibility Services Kimberly Corrigan, all of whom have been involved with advancing assistive technologies in the past. They will also be aided by student assistants.

“We are grateful to the Office of the SUNY Provost and the Innovative Instruction Research Council (IIRC) for fully funding CCAVA, and for the support of SUNY Polytechnic Institute's Interim Provost Dr. Zora Thomova, Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Dr. Carlie Phipps and Interim Dean of the College of Engineering Dr. Michael Carpenter, in developing and operationalizing the project,” said Boylan.

The group will respond to needs and interests among blind and visually impaired persons, developing methods and tools shared via a website. This will include experimenting with devices and applications in combination to develop instructions for student authors (and for teachers, tutors, workshop organizers, etc.) to compose, edit, and ultimately produce collaborative documents. The researchers will invite users to participate in the design and use of some of these methods in collaboration with local partners for community events and in classroom experiences during Academic Year 2023-2024.

Moreover, the CCAVA team will share best practices, construction/sourcing guides, and any developed software with the public by constructing an Open Library website hosted by SUNY CREATE, which they and future collaborators can continue to build on in the future. Their resource will help users navigate options of existing tools, and will offer low-cost and/or DIY alternatives (including full instructions), which is important in ensuring economic accessibility.


About SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly)
SUNY Poly is New York’s globally recognized, high-tech educational ecosystem. SUNY Poly offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience and nanoengineering, as well as cutting-edge nanobioscience programs at its Albany campus, and undergraduate and graduate degrees in technology, including engineering, cybersecurity, computer science, and the engineering technologies; professional studies, including business, communication, and nursing; and arts and sciences, including natural sciences, game design, mathematics, humanities, and social sciences at its Utica campus; thriving athletic, recreational, and cultural programs, events, and activities complement the campus experience. As the world’s most advanced, university-driven research enterprise, SUNY Poly boasts billions of dollars in high-tech investments and hundreds of corporate partners since its inception. For information visit