Winter Quarter 2019

Perspectives in Assistive Technology


David L. Jaffe, MS
Lathrop Library, Classroom 282
Tuesdays & Thursdays from 4:30pm to 5:50pm

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Information and Instructions for Presenters of Candidate Projects

Project "Pitchers",

Thank you once again for your willingness to participate in the Stanford Course: Perspectives in Assistive Technology and pitch your project suggestion to the class on Thursday, January 10th.

Requirements for project suggestions: Please review the requirements for project ideas.

Class location and parking: The class will be held in the Lathrop Library, Classroom 282. Refer to the Classroom Location and Accessibility Information webpage for driving directions and parking instructions. Let me know if you would like me to mail you a printed map highlighting the classroom location and nearby parking areas.

Class time:

  • Please plan to arrive at the classroom by 4:15pm for setup. Give yourself extra time to negotiate traffic, navigate around campus, find a parking space, and make your way to the classroom.
  • The class session will begin promptly at 4:30pm and will end at approximately 5:50pm.
  • Please plan to stick around after all the project pitches for students to approach you with specific questions. This face-to-face interaction time will help the students fully understand your project suggestion and decide which project to pursue.
  • The order of presentation will be listed here. Let me know if you will be unable to arrive at the beginning of class so I can re-order the schedule. Call me if you get lost or are unexpectedly running late. 650/892-4464

Presentation logistics:

  • You are welcome to compose a short slideshow if you think your pitch would benefit from the display of a video, a few images, or text. (It would be best to upload any videos to YouTube and include links to them in your slideset.) You can also distribute a short handout.
  • Email me your PowerPoint presentation and a soft copy of any handouts you wish to disseminate by Friday, January 4th so I can load it on my laptop and make copies for the students. (Having your presentation pre-loaded on my laptop minimizes turn-over time from one pitcher to the next, assures that the slides will display properly, and makes the material available before class to any students with visual impairments.)

  • An LCD projector and speakers are available.
  • There is a wireless device to advance the slides and a laser pointer for your use.
  • Access to the Internet is available only through my laptop, so it is ok to include weblinks in your slides.
  • You will be given a wireless microphone to wear on your lapel to record audio from your lecture. Do not handle the microphone as it generates noise.
  • Your pitch will be videotaped and posted on YouTube.

Presentation suggestions:

  • Your pitch must be no longer than three minutes - this will be strictly enforced to give time for every project to be presented.
  • Present the most important information at the beginning of your pitch to prevent having that information cut off.
  • Be short and concise.
  • Practice your pitch for timing.
  • The objective of your pitch is to interest students in taking on your project.
  • Assume students have already read your project description, so do not merely restate it.
  • The overall framework for your pitch is:
    • User: Identify the user or user group
    • Context: Describe the context or situation in which the problem exists
    • Problem: Provide an example incident that calls for a new device
    • Solution: Show how the user or user group would use the new device
    • Outcome: Describe the happy outcome for the user or user group
  • Pitch checklist:
    • Introduce yourself
    • Name your facility or organization
    • State your role in the facility or organization
    • Give a very brief background of the population and/or impairment addressed by your project suggestion
    • Identify the problem or challenge
    • Illustrate examples of the problem in a slide
    • Show images in slides as it is difficult for students to see anything that you hold up
    • List the prototype's desired operational features and specifications
    • Describe what the prototype device should do, but not how it should be designed (the student team will come up with a creative solution)
    • Suggest design concepts / alternatives
    • Provide any additional information such as weblinks
    • Mention the skills that are needed to fabricate the prototype: mechanical, electronic, computer, programming - so the students will be able to judge if it is an appropriate project for them to undertake.
    • Specify what resources, expertise, and involvement you will be able to provide
    • Bring along any prior prototypes you might have to show to students - after all the pitches have been presented - not during your pitch
    • Prepare to provide more project details and answer questions at the end of the class - after all the pitches have been presented - not during your pitch
  • Your pitch should not be a scientific presentation.
  • Avoid highly technical engineering, medical terms, and abbreviations.
  • Please do not overwhelm the students with technical details.
  • Communicate they can successfully pursue the assistive technology project that you have suggested.


  • The audience will include Stanford engineering students (mostly mechanical engineering) and individuals from the greater Stanford community (perhaps as many as 50 people total).
  • There may be several students who arrive late or have to leave early due to other class committments.

Video pitch:

  • If you are unable to present your project(s) in class, you can alternately create a short video pitch (not longer than three minutes). Upload the video to YouTube and send me the url so I can play it in class.

Class website:

Please contact me if you have any questions. Thank you again,

Dave Jaffe
650/892-4464 cell

Updated 10/16/2018

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