Adira Blumenthal’s mission is to create assistive technologies

March 22, 2023

Adira fabricating parts

In addition to learning about assistive technologies, Adira Blumenthal has enjoyed the opportunity to be a lighting designer, set designer, and stage manager, and to serve on the executive board of ROC Players.

What I find fascinating is how we can type some code and fundamentally change people’s lives for the better,” says Adira Blumenthal ’23 (T5).

The computer science major knows firsthand how important that can be. Adira has migraines and a processing speed disorder. “Basically, I don’t read with my eyes anymore,” she explains. “Since middle school, I’ve been using text-to-speech to read essentially everything.”

As part of understanding her place in the broader disability community, Adira has immersed herself in learning more about other assistive technologies for a range of disabilities. The University’s flexible curriculum has given her plenty of opportunities to do so—and also pursue her passion for art.

She’s been involved every semester withROC Players. She has worked as a research assistant in the Rochester Human-Computer Interaction lab. A paper she coauthored received a Best Paper nomination and she also received an honorable mention in the Computing Research Association’s (CRA) Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award program for 2023.

After interning at GoodMaps this summer, she will be back on campus, finishing her degree and taking advantage of the University’s uniqueTake 5 program to spend an additional year, tuition free, studying American Sign Language and Accessibility.

Learn more about Adira’s experiences and plans for the future.