Visually-Impaired Student Solves Accessibility Challenge, Becomes an Entrepreneur

Today, I met one of the coolest students in college, David Hayden.  David is legally-blind. As a result, David requires accessibility technologies to help him learn at the same rate as his visually-capable peers. Also, David is both a Computer Science and Mathematics major.  I love STEM majors. However, David found the current accessibility technologies with significant room for higher innovation. Enter the Microsoft Imagine Cup competition.

David shared with our US Public Sector organization how he took the shortcomings of today’s accessibility technology and made them requirements for a new solution. So he decided to solve the problem himself and created Team Note-Taker for the Imagine Cup Competition. Armed with Visual Studio, .NET, Windows Tablet PC, Microsoft Office OneNote, and a custom video camera, David engineered a solution that overcame the shortcomings of note-taking technologies and created an innovative product in the process.

David’s story highlights two significant issues:

  1. STEM education enables students to solve real-world problems and contribute those solutions to the improvement of humanity.
  2. Ideas are the only natural resource needed for STEM learners.

Now, David is working on his fourth iteration of the Note-Taker solution and preparing a market-ready solution.  He is a testimony to what it means to be college, career, and commerce-ready.  Regardless of David’s future career choices, he knows with his STEM education he is able to chart his own path. That is my wish for all students. I wish David and Team Note-Taker the best of success.

Find out more about David Hayden and Team Note-Taker here.