LTU Students to Display Projects that Help Eliminate Workplace Barriers for Individuals with Disabilities

Lawrence Tech Engineering students are scheduled to display final project designs on Monday, December 5th and Tuesday, December 6th from 9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. The students have been working closely with Services To Enhance Potential (STEP) clients from STEP’s Livonia Resource Center and Stonecrest Behavioral Center to develop products to help with various disability related needs in the workplace.

Studio for Entrepreneurial Engineering Design (SEED) has partnered with non-profit agency – Services to Enhance Potential (STEP). STEP works with people with disabilities to develop, train, and place them into meaningful employment. LTU students in the sophomore design studio are tasked with identifying an opportunity and implementing a design that will help these clients in the workplace. The end goal is to design and build a working prototype that creates value for these customers. “Before our partnership with STEP, our students did not have the opportunity to design something that creates value for real customers so the projects always felt a little bit artificial. Having an actual customer that is depending on the success of your design and can offer real feedback on your ideas makes these projects so much more engaging and relevant. We really appreciate STEP being willing to work with us and our students”, said Cristi-Bell Huff, Director- Studio for Entrepreneurial Engineering Design (SEED).

“The students are truly invested in designing a product that will make a positive impact on the jobs and lives of the STEP workers. We are so grateful for our partnership with STEP and for the ability to provide our students the setting to foster real empathy in design”, added Heidi Morano, Project Engineer-Studio for Entrepreneurial Engineering Design (SEED).

The partnership between LTU and STEP has positively impacted the parties involved. The students partaking in the (EGE2123) Entrepreneurial Engineering Design Studio course had the opportunity to directly interact with STEP clients and learn about disability employment. With the theme accessibility in the workplace, the students designed specific products to meet client needs and eliminate barriers.

“The relationship with Lawrence Tech has been rewarding on many levels. I could not be more impressed with every aspect of the University; from the campus to the faculty and most of all the students. The way the students were able to engage and analyze the needs of the people we serve has been truly inspiring. Many of the designs developed by the students will not only improve the efficiency of our clients’ work but also eliminate barriers that will allow people to perform new types of work. STEP looks forward to continuing this relationship with LTU for years to come”, expressed Steve Slayton, STEP Resource Center Director.

LTU Expo Days: Monday, December 5th and Tuesday, December 6th from 9:15 a.m – 10:30 a.m.

For additional information about Services To Enhance Potential visit For ways to partner with STEP contact: Steve Slayton;

About LTU’s Studio for Entrepreneurial Engineering Design (SEED)
The Studio for Entrepreneurial Engineering Design (SEED) was made possible by generous funding from the Kern Family Foundation and now serves as a hub for the development of an entrepreneurial and innovative culture at LTU. SEED is the home of curricular and extracurricular activities all aimed at the development of an entrepreneurial mindset that our students can combine with their developing engineering skillset.

About Services To Enhance Potential (STEP)
Services to Enhance Potential (STEP) is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, which provides support and services to over 1,300 persons with disabilities and other mental health needs in Wayne County. A major goal of Services to Enhance Potential is to increase the number of persons who are employed, self-employed, and volunteer in their communities. STEP provides and supports a variety of employment and self-employment options.