On Wednesday, May 11, 5th graders Zion and Mukiya from Chicago Collegiate Charter School visited the Chicago Lighthouse, a social service organization serving the blind, visually impaired, disabled, and Veteran communities with comprehensive vision care and support services.

Tom Perski, the Senior Vice President of Rehabilitation Services, and Maureen Reid, Scholarships Coordinator, showed Zion and Mukiya different tools blind and low vision people use to read newspapers, navigate the train, and more.

Zion and Mukiya shared their MZ Shirts invention idea for the blind and low vision communities, which uses braille on clothing tags to help blind and low vision people know the size and color of their clothes.

Zion and Mukiya tried on glasses that simulate what it’s like to have different forms of vision impairment, and a headset that magnifies everything around you. They also learned how speech to text and text to speech technologies (including tools like Amazon Alexa, Siri, and lots of different apps!) help blind and low vision people with tasks like online shopping, google maps directions, and even online dating.

Zion and Mukiya were so excited to try out all of the assistive technology, and are already thinking about invention ideas for next year! A big THANK YOU to Chicago Lighthouse for hosting us!