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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Questions for Contemplation

  1. Are people with disabilities healthy?

  2. Is a person who successfully employs an assistive device still considered disabled? What if it is visible like a wheelchair? What if it is implanted, like a pacemaker? What if it is commonly used, like eyeglasses?

  3. In a marathon race, who crosses the finish line with the faster time - the elite runners or the wheelchair athletes?

  4. Who, on average, has better attendance on the job - an able-bodied worker or her co-worker with a disability?

  5. Are persons with disabilities really "suffering" or "afflicted"? Are wheelchair users really "confined"?

  6. It was no secret that President Roosevelt had polio and used a wheelchair. Why was he never described as being disabled? How was his obvious disability hidden?

  7. Is old age itself a disability? Is being young a disability? Is being different a disability?

  8. Are individuals with disability typically considered in discussions about diversity? If not, why not?

  9. Are people with phobias considered disabled? What if the fear of flying prevents an individual from working in his chosen profession? Was John Madden's bus then considered a "job accommodation"?

  10. What do you make of this true situation? A young Stanford physician in the radiology department was seriously injured in a bicycling accident. Through therapy, he was able to recover some use of his arms and legs. He is now able to stand, but not to walk. He uses a Segway to get around - it makes him feel "less handicapped". However, he is incessantly mocked and made fun of. Some have gone so far as to try to push him off of it - all because he does not look disabled.

  11. Jerry Seinfeld asks, "What's the deal with handicapped parking at the Para-Olympics?"

Updated 08/28/2017

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