Inspire and Engage the Engineers of Tomorrow with Assistive Technology Engineering
2020 May 09
The IEEE YESIST12 Maker Fair Team is delighted to present a webinar on Inspire and Engage the Engineers of Tomorrow with Assistive Technology Engineering by Dr. S.K.Ramesh in collaboration with IEEE Brand Ambassadors Community and IEEE SSIT Madras section. Read More.
Locally, regionally, nationally, and globally, special-needs populations are increasing not only in number but also in the complexity of their needs. As a result, the demand for masters-level trained practitioners in assistive and recuperative technologies and services has never been greater.
In California alone, the providers that serve children and adults who have physical and developmental needs have seen their clientele double in the past 20 years. Greater numbers of the elderly require increasing amounts of care. On a national level, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts long-term growth in the healthcare and social assistance professions, the related scientific and technical service professions, and the health education and health services industries, including the areas of assistive/adaptive technologies.
Assistive and rehabilitative technology is an emerging discipline focused on improving the functional capabilities of those who utilize assistive technology devices. Engineering experts create the devices that enable these individuals to function not only in healthcare settings but also in educational and corporate environments where their participation is critical to fulfilling the ultimate goal of making accessibility universal.
What has been lacking – until now – is a program that enables students who are focused on the engineering, design, and manufacture of assistive technology devices to study and collaborate with students whose focus is on assistive technology assessment, advocacy and counseling, i.e., the “human services” side of the equation. California State University Northridge (CSUN) has created a unique interdisciplinary program that addresses this need.
CSUN’s Assistive Technology Engineering master’s program is linked to the CSUN master’s program in Assistive Technology and Human Services. Because these new programs were conceived and developed simultaneously to work synergistically, students in the Assistive Technology Engineering program – benefit from an exceptional opportunity to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the needs of end-users as well as the wide variety of environments in which assistive technology devices must function. Graduates from the program enjoy significant professional competitive advantages that stem from being better prepared to not only create appropriate and effective products but also interact with those who assess and counsel clients and make assistive technology recommendations and decisions.
This talk will cover the development of the Master’s degree program in Assistive Technology Engineering with examples of applied research projects that inspired and motivated the faculty to develop this innovative and interdisciplinary degree program.