Project Independence

1-By Design’s focus is at the extreme end of adaptive sports, which is the enablement of the visually impaired and blind to compete and enjoy the world of sailing and to do so unaided by the assistance of a sighted crew member. Our mission focus; Project Independence, will bring a positive societal impact to a community of over 285 million visually impaired or blind members through newly developed adaptive technology.

Adaptive sports are competitive or recreational sports that have been transformed for people with disabilities who require some type of modification or technology to be able to participate. The intent of adaptive sports is to provide disabled athletes with adjustments that empower them to step directly onto life’s playing field. In our case, the playing field is the ocean, the ball and bat are a sail and boat.

Adaptive technology for sailing will be accomplished through the development of an intelligent sail that is able to monitor aerodynamic forces and the distribution of air pressure on the sail itself, determine the optimal sail shape, and then communicate the required sail and navigational adjustments to the visually impaired or blind sailor without the aid of a sighted guide.

The broader societal impact includes the goal to lead this progressive trend towards inclusion of the visually impaired or blind into adaptive sports through the National Science Foundation’s program of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). This program focuses on bringing innovative technology to the world at large. As such, 1 By Design’s Project Independence will be as transformative to the visually impaired or blind sailor as it is innovative to the sighted world of sailing.

For additional information of Project Independence – Please contact Team Principal Scott Hines at