Skip to Content
Report an accessibility problem
Engineering  |  Grand Challenges Scholars Program

emilyherringOctober 26, 2015

“We are hopeful that through this program we will be able to expand the impact of our project and create a successful business that improves the lives of our customers,” shares Emily Herring.
“We are hopeful that through this program we will be able to expand the impact of our project and create a successful business that improves the lives of our customers,” shares Emily Herring.
ASU provides opportunities for student startup teams to further their projects through the Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative. Emily Herring, a senior Biomedical Engineering student and Grand Challenge Scholar, is a recent Edson winner for the project she co-founded, Adaptive Designs.

Adaptive Designs focuses on assisting those with developmental and cognitive disabilities. While working within Engineering Projects in Community Service, Herring worked with Scottsdale Training and Rehabilitation Services (STARS). There, she noticed that while the disabled individuals with cerebral palsy had the ability to read, they were unable to do so due to physical disabilities. For instance, the seemingly simple task of turning pages would prove tremendously difficult for these individuals, who would need a STARS staff member to turn the pages for them.

From this, Herring and her team developed the idea of an EReader that would allow disabled persons to read independently despite their physical limitations. The design includes a sensor-activated page turner and a mount that can adjust the book to the individual’s convenience. A tool such as this can have more lasting effects than just allowing those with physical disabilities to be able to read; it can encourage the feeling of independence and improve their quality of life and learning.

The Edson program opens the doors to multiple opportunities for winning teams. The program offers office space, mentoring, seed funding, and an educational program to further winning teams’ startup works. During this semester, the team has been able to conduct extensive market research and customer surveys through the assistance of contacts and mentors provided by the Edson program.

Learn more about the Edson Student Entrepreneurship Initiative and apply to develop your team’s startup work.