6.811: Principles and Practice of Assistive Technology (PPAT)
Video Credit: Ben Glass and Tommy Girdwood
Boston Globe: A Project from PPAT at the Boston Home
What is 6.811: Principles and Practice of Assistive Technology (PPAT)?PPAT is a 12-unit, interdisciplinary, project-based course in which small teams of students work closely with a person with a disability in the Cambridge area to design a device, piece of equipment, app, or other solution that helps them live more independently. Over the course of the term, each team meets with its "client," iterates through multiple prototypes, and learns about the challenges and realities of designing assistive technologies for people with disabilities.
If you would like to stay informed about PPAT, you can:
Here is a recent EECS News article about developing assistive technologies at MIT.
What are some past student projects?Some examples of past projects have included:
Along with the project, the course includes guest lectures from clinicians in rehabilitation, human-computer interface experts, product designs, and people living with physical or cognitive impairments, and lab exercises in which students use and evaluate various assistive technologies.
Should I take PPAT?
We seek students from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines. Any experience in design is helpful, but not necessary. Teams of two to three students will complement each other's skill sets. Many of the students are in Courses 2 and 6, but students from all majors are welcome.
This course is a good fit for students interested in public service, user-centered product design, working closely with a client with a disability (potentially in consultation with their caregivers and/or clinicians), and tackling difficult, real-world problems. In the past three years, it has received course ratings of 6.4, 6.6, and 6.4 overall.
Who is teaching PPAT?
PPAT was founded, taught, and championed by Professor Seth Teller, who conceived of the course and taught PPAT in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
We are very proud to be offering PPAT once again in Fall 2015. The course will be overseen by Professor Rob Miller (EECS), Professor Julie Greenberg (HST), Grace Teo, Jeff Dusek, Wenxin Feng, and Ishwarya Ananthabhotla. We will also have a number of guest lecturers and panel members from the assistive technology and disability communities from the Boston area and beyond.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.