Coming together to create accessible solutions

Aug 23rd 2021

I'm excited to start a new initiative with Bullitt County Public Schools here in Kentucky.

I have the privilege of leading groups of engineering pathway students from every high school in the district on a year-long journey of discovery and innovation. Each team of students will be using the inclusive design process to create something that improves the accessibility of our local community.

They're going to start with an open challenge, choose their own pathways, and deliver their solutions. 

They will be applying what they've learned in school, be supported by engineers from GE Appliances, a Haier company, software from Onshape, a PTC Business, and deliver innovative solutions that will be presented to the various local city councils for consideration by the end of the school year.

The students will be introduced to inclusion and diversity in an organic way, learn new life skills, and directly impact the communities we live in. It's going to be a great year!

(Bullitt County Public Schools students. Photo taken pre-COVID-19.)

I have been working in this school district for over 12 years. I started leading inclusive design projects three years ago with a group of students from one school after being inspired by Elise Roy, who spoke at our company Inclusion & Diversity Summit in 2019.

These amazing students embraced the design process and delivered some truly innovative designs for a local park. Then COVID-19 happened before we could finish and it's been a long waiting game. 

As we slowly emerge from the pandemic, we are bringing a few of the more mature designs back from this group and pushing them forward too -- all while embracing new ways of working together and finding solutions in our ever more complicated world.

Phenomenal outcomes happen when you take bright minds, remove barriers, then inspire, equip, enable, and empower them.

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