Karen Gourgey Honored by
City Comptroller William Thompson
Adds to Earlier Tech Award This Year for Gourgey’s
Computer Center For Visually Impaired People--
New York City Comptroller
William C. Thompson, Jr. honored six New Yorkers for their
accomplishments at an event celebrating Disability Awareness
Month in November. The event was cosponsored by YAI/National
Institute for People with Disabilities Network and the League
for the Hard of Hearing.
Among the award recipients was Baruch’s Karen Gourgey, Director of the Computer Center for Visually Impaired People (CCVIP). Earlier this year Gourgey represented Baruch when the CCVIP and Touch Graphics were chosen laureates for the Microsoft Education Award and were named for developing the Talking Tactile Tablet (TTT), a computer peripheral device that makes graphical interactive computer applications accessible for people with visual impairments.
At the Disability Awareness Month event, Thompson also presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to Tony Coelho, President-Elect of the National Epilepsy Foundation of America. Coelho, a former California Congressman, was a prime sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Other distinguished honorees for Diabilities Awareness Month were Gloria Altieri, Educational Director of the Easter Seals Child Development Center; Marilyn L. Edwards, Board Member of the Black Deaf Advocates and Service Coordinator for the New York Society for the Deaf; Alberto Muneton, Painter, Sculptor, and Resident at the Services for the Underserved; and, Richard Traum, President of the Achilles Track Club.
For the Tech Awards, made in September by the Tech Museum for Innovation in San Diego, Gourgey’s center was one of 25 laureates. The center shared the award with Touch Graphics for development and implementation of an inexpensive, patent-pending audio-tactile technology device called TTT. Unlike earlier tactile graphic materials, the TTT does not require individuals to read Braille but depends instead on tactile images associated with audio output that can be easily adapted for speakers of any language. It also includes an authoring component that allows teachers to refine its basic template.
Baruch College’s Computer Center for Visually Impaired People has trained blind and visually impaired persons in the use of adaptive computer technologies for 25 years.