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Design for Accessibility

By Jennifer Fogarty, communications content manager
Congratulations to Sydney Strawn ’20 and Leah Weiser ’20 who earned an honorable mention in the 2018 National High School Design Competition. Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum launched the competition in collaboration with Target in 2016. This year, hundreds of students across the country were challenged to identify and provide a solution to a problem that makes daily life less accessible for people with disabilities.

In response to the question “What would you design to make the everyday accessible for all?,” Sydney and Leah designed HUSH Earwear, a discreet electronic earplug with adjustable settings controlled via Bluetooth. It transfers sound waves to an attenuator instead of an amplifier, which results in a decrease of outside noise. This adjustable silence allows people on the autism spectrum to attend loud and possibly overstimulating events without concern. Their design will be featured in a poster exhibition for the Access+Ability exhibit at the museum in New York.


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