Conveying the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes to the blind, low-vision and diverse needs communities through sensory stimulation

Mai T. Tran, Laura Ciacchi, Lisa Ciacchi, Hugh H. Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalComment / DebateOtherpeer-review


To educate members of the blind, low-vision and diverse needs communities on the pathogenesis of the chronic autoimmune disease, type 1 diabetes, members of our team with research expertise in immune-mediated diseases, participated in the 2023 Monash Sensory Science (MSS) Exhibition. Using QR code linked audio commentary, participants were guided through tactile displays demonstrating normal insulin action in the regulation of blood glucose levels and its vital role in providing energy to tissues, followed by displays describing the various stages of the immune system's aberrant attack and the eventual complete destruction of the insulin producing beta-cells of the pancreatic islets in type 1 diabetes. These models conveyed to the participants the huge effect that this autoimmune-mediated disease has on the quality of life of affected individuals including the subsequent lifelong reliance on insulin injections to maintain glucose homeostasis. This MSS Exhibition provided a unique opportunity for our researchers to engage with under-represented members of the community and to raise awareness about such a debilitating and common autoimmune disease.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalImmunology and Cell Biology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • autoimmune diseases
  • disability inclusion in Science
  • MHC
  • science education
  • T cells
  • type 1 diabetes

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