Lenovo’s Tech Donation Propels Equal Access for Visually Impaired in North Carolina

May 9, 2024 12:40 PM ET

In December 2023, Lenovo kicked off the holiday season with a donation to one of its long-standing partners: the North Carolina Governor Morehead School for the Blind. Lenovo distributed brand-new personal laptop computers to every student at the school. These laptops are promoting remote learning and communication, extending educational opportunities beyond the classroom.

Lenovo’s partnership with the Governor Morehead School exemplifies technology’s transformative power in fostering inclusivity and accessibility in education. The collaboration transcends business, symbolizing a joint commitment to leveraging innovation for the betterment of differently-abled individuals.

In 2021, Lenovo’s Product Diversity Office and the Governor Morehead School teamed up to offer project-based learning opportunities and visits to Lenovo’s headquarters in Morrisville, N.C. While students are gaining access and insight into the tech industry, Lenovo is able to learn from those students and obtain feedback on how to make future products more accessible and truly be “Smarter Technology for All.”

In February 2024, students from the Governor Morehead School again visited the Morrisville campus where they were provided with a hands-on opportunity with product testing. These products were designed to make current Lenovo products more accessible to those with visual impairments.

“The idea behind that is to include individuals with disabilities in the development process,” said Ada Lopez with Lenovo’s Product Diversity Office. “We take this feedback that students give us and we share it with our development teams. This sort of empathy is necessary when creating products for the world.”

Students also met with Lenovo mentors that allowed them first-hand exposure to professionals from diverse backgrounds.

“Getting the chance to help others see the world from our lens of life was really cool,” said Amaya Vick, 11th grade student at Governor Morehead School.

Central to this partnership is the shared belief that technology can break barriers and offer equal opportunities. Lenovo strives not only for cutting-edge products but also for inclusivity because at its core, Lenovo believes that technology can serve as a bridge to access education, jobs, entertainment, and more. The collaboration focuses on specialized tools and software designed with educators and specialists to meet visually impaired students’ unique needs. These innovations, from specialty software to tactile interfaces, empower students to engage with digital content effectively.

Lenovo’s Product Diversity Office is committed to finding ways to make technology accessible, whether through physical attributes like tactile changes to help those with vision impairments or assistive sound devices for those with hearing impairments. Through this partnership with the Governor Morehead School, Lenovo is not just providing technology; we’re shaping a more inclusive future where every student, regardless of ability, can harness the power of innovation.

Some examples of Lenovo technologies built with diversity in mind include:

  • ThinkPad Keyboard changes to improve accessibility include tactile markings on insert, function, volume, and enter keys.
  • Lenovo’s sign language translation solution that uses computer vision and AI to interpret the Brazilian sign language in real-time.
  • Lenovo Voice, which offers real-time translation assistance, subtitle assistance, voice input, and voice assistant capabilities on Lenovo X1 Folds.
  • 321 Coffee’s tech-enabled Roasting Facility, outfitted with Lenovo technology that allows the differently abled to safely and effectively work in the roasting facility.

The work of the Product Diversity Office underscores technology’s potential to create a more equitable world, inspiring purpose-driven collaborations between corporations and educational institutions for meaningful societal advancement.