A Columbus state student is on her way to compete at the state level for her idea to create an app for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Columbus State senior Shannon Eshman says she’s always had a passion for helping people with disabilities. Last summer she got the idea to develop an app.
“I got the opportunity to work with a 14-year-old girl who had an intellectual and behavioral disability and I saw that she would get very frustrated when she was trying to tie her shoes cause her younger brother was able to do it but she wasn’t,” Eshman said.
And what went from teaching a young girl how to tie her shoes turned into how can I teach others with intellectual and behavioral disabilities every day skills.
“I thought there has to be an app for this. Parents need to see where their students are at during these skills, students need the chance to practice these skills, and teachers in the classroom need to be able to access these interventions and not have to go through the whole process of research,” Eshman said.
Eshman says the app is called Able-Fi. She says it’s for students of all ages.
“Able-fI is going to be able to teach students skills like tying their shoes, packing their backpack for school, going up to a teacher in a college class and saying,’May I please use this recording device to record your lecture because I need these accommodations.’ It will show them how to do that step by step,” Eshman said.
Eshman’s idea for Able-fI recently won CSU’s first ever student invention competition. In April her and her teammates will compete at the Georgia Inventure Prize Competition in April.
“I never imagined that someone who had been in Columbus their whole life…but CSU has given me a wonderful chance to really find myself and find out who I am,” Eshman said.
Eshman says right now the app is not created, but they plan to present the prototype in April. The winner of Georgia Inventures will receive $25,000.