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UML Student's Innovation Helps Paralyzed Italian Girl


LOWELL, MAss.  ߞ; A senior electrical engineering student at UMass Lowell recently designed an apparatus that has made an enormous impact on the life of a 5-year-old who has been paralyzed since the age of 2.

Anna Magliano, who is quadriplegic, lives in Italy.  Her parents tried desperately to find assistance for her and ultimately turned to the Internet to search for anyone who could develop a tool to help their daughter communicate.

Their search led them to the assistive technology program at UMass Lowell.  Michael Darish, a senior engineering student, took on the project and designed an apparatus specifically for Anna that allows her to click and drag the cursor on her computer using only her voice.  Darish recently spent his spring break traveling to Italy to deliver the system to young Magliano in person.

This project is one of approximately 60 assistive technology projects that senior electrical engineering students at UMass Lowell complete each semester as a graduate requirement.  The projects, free of charge to the clients, showcase what students have learned in their undergraduate engineering courses and help physically and mentally challenged people improve their quality of life.

UMass Lowell, a comprehensive university with a national reputation in science, engineering and technology, is committed to educating students for lifelong success in a diverse world and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental and social health of the region. UML offers its 11,000 students more than 120 degree choices, internships, five-year combined bachelor’s to master’s programs and doctoral studies in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management, the School of Health and Environment, and the Graduate School of Education.

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