Winter Quarter 2018

Perspectives in Assistive Technology


David L. Jaffe, MS
Thornton Center Classroom 110
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 idea to the class on Thursday, January 11th.

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

Class location and parking: The class will be held in the Thornton Center - Classroom 110. 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 is 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 January 6th 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
  • 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 unmet need for the project
    • 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 and expertise 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. One message to communicate is 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 08/31/2017

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