Winter Quarter 2024

Perspectives in Assistive Technology


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

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Tuesday, January 9th

photo of Dave Jaffe

Course Overview & Introduction to Assistive Technology
David L. Jaffe, MS
Mechanical Engineering Design Group - Stanford University

Abstract: This presentation will begin with an overview of the course including its objectives, credentials, structure, candidate projects, guest lectures, grading, and expected student experience. A brief introduction to Assistive Technology follows, touching on definitions, demographics, rehabilitation goals, perceptions, challenges, social correctness, and numerous examples of commercial products, research efforts, and past student projects.

Biosketch: David L. Jaffe holds a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan and a MS degree in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University.

Prior to coming to Stanford, Dave was a Research Biomedical Engineer at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System's Rehabilitation Research and Development Center. His interests there were designing, developing, testing, and bringing to market microcomputer-based devices for veterans with disabilities including communication, mobility, and information systems. He worked on several VA assistive technology research projects including an powered wheelchair interface for individuals with quadriplegia, an electro-mechanical fingerspelling hand that served as a communication device for people who are deaf/blind, a system that explored virtual reality techniques to train individuals with gait deficits to improve their walking, and a project that employed a computer-based simulation system to assess and improve the driving ability of individuals after brain injury.

In addition to organizing this course, ENGR110/210: Perspectives in Assistive Technology, he contributes to other Stanford courses including defining the quarterly course projects in ME218: Smart Product Design and ME310: Engineering Design Entrepreneurship and Innovation as well as mentoring students working on assistive technology projects throughout the year.

Contact Information:
davejaffe -at-
Lecture Material:
Slides - Course Overview (7.1 Mb) - Introduction to Assistive Technology (9.3 Mb)
Ultrasonic Head Controlled Wheelchair (0:38)
Ralph Fingerspelling Hand (2:04)
Discover the World of Science (10:35)
Why Communications Skills Are Critical to Engineers - IEEE Spectrum
I asked my students to turn in their cell phones and write about living without them - MIT Technology Review
The Problems with Ramps Blended into Stairs
Disability Impacts All of Us
13 Humans with Real-Life X-Men Mutant Super Powers
Ed Roberts Campus - a universally designed, transit-oriented campus
Physical and Mobility Impairment Factsheet
Introduction to Assistive Technology - Jennifer McDonald-Peltier, MS, ATP (video 2:11)

Updated 01/10/2024

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