What is The Logan Project?
The Logan Project is a research effort established and funded by Auburn University at Montgomery. Here at AUM, we have developed unique audio methods of teaching and assessing college level math for students who are blind or low vision. The end goal is the use of software with a Universal Design for Learning that will allow students who are blind or low vision, as well as other diverse learners, to learn together with their sighted peers in an inclusive educational setting.
Who is Logan?
Logan is a highly intelligent, motivated, optimistic AUM psychology student. As a young teen, Logan had a reaction during a medical procedure that resulted in almost complete blindness, significant mobility deficits, and a voice that cannot exceed a whisper. Despite those setbacks, Logan lives life full throttle...sky diving, white water rafting, hunting, and participating in the creation of audio methods for math instruction to help other students like himself.
How did all this start?
We began developing a completely audio method of math instruction when Logan started his Intermediate Algebra class in the Spring of 2015. We focused on developing a methodology that would allow Logan to fully drive the intellectual processes involved in simplifying and solving algebraic expressions and equations. Our approach had to be unique because Logan's limited mobility will not allow him to use Nemeth Code, the math equivalent of Braille.
What motivates us?
From the beginning, we have been committed to the idea that the individual with the disability is the best qualified person to state whether or not a particular methodology or technology is helpful. Logan is an integral part of our research team and his input is essential every step of the way. His work ethic and determination inspire us all to reach the goals of The Logan Project.
What role does mobile technology play?
Ensuring that Logan has the tools to communicate independently so he can be included in every email conversation, phone conversation, text conversation, or online meeting we hold is essential to our research. We had to find a system that would address blindness, mobility impairment, and Logan's low whisper. We created a system using a combination of custom built and commercially available products, giving Logan the ability to communicate independently. With four buttons, Logan fully controls his iPhone 6, and with a fifth button, his microphone switches back and forth between his phone and a pair of small speakers mounted on his wheelchair. Logan's mobile communication system has improved his access to The Logan Project.
What is in the future for The Logan Project?
We believe the future is bright for The Logan Project. Through the strength of collaboration, and with the encouragement of many supporters, we will pursue the development of software with a Universal Design for Learning that will improve math education for students who are blind or low vision. In doing so, we hope to give access to STEM careers to many who are currently waiting behind closed doors.