The mission of the Program for Assistive Technologies for Underprivileged (PATU) is to allow students to practice engineering skills while they develop strong communication and teamwork skills, gain global perspective, and learn social responsibility through projects for persons with disabilities that otherwise could not afford assistance.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Our work in action

Today Chris taught Emanuelle and her parents how to use the communication device they developed.  I think she actually picked up on it quite quickly!  Emanuelle (they call her Manu) has a really wonderful, sweet, and supportive family.  Manu's father enjoyed sharing pictures with me of Manu's recent Quinciniera (15th birthday bash--it's like the "sweet sixteen" in America).  She looked beautiful in her flowing pink gown.  Her little sister (one year old) had a matching dress.  She was absolutely adorable!  I hope that she and her family find joy in using this device and being able to enhance their level of communication for years to come.

Kate got to finally deliver her device, as well, and it was tried out immediately!

We also went to Milton's house to learn more about him.  He was just as cheerful and happy as ever!  Since we last saw him, he has received his prosthetic legs.  However, they do not fit and seem to be impractical to use well.  We will be doing some research on how we might be able to either improve them for him or find him an alternative.  We also got an extensive explanation of all the work that Camila has been doing to help improve his life as well as what additional needs he has.  Mitch is already designing something in his head and is planning to ship it to him by the end of the summer!

Only one day left of scheduled events and then we are headed back to the US.  I have very mixed emotions.  I am really going to miss the friends we've made here, but am leaving with great excitement about the future of our collaboration with UESC and the work we can do for the clinics and Camila.

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