6.811: Principles and Practice of Assistive Technology

Resources and Links

Textbook (Optional):

Cook and Hussey's Assistive Technologies: Principles and Practice (ISBN-10: 0323039073; ISBN-13: 978-0323039079)
Authors: Albert M. Cook and Janice M. Polgar

textbook cover image

Purchase from: Amazon or from The MIT Coop

You might also be able to purchase a digital copy of this textbook from the Coop.

Interesting Readings and Articles

  • Francie Latour, "A talk with Graham Pullin: Why prosthetics should be beautiful," The Boston Globe, March 15, 2009
  • Design Meets Disability by Graham Pullin (published by MIT Press)
  • Moving Violations, a Memoir by John Hockenberry. Check out the book on Amazon.
  • Technical Resources

  • MIT TLL Problem Solving Roadmap
  • MIT 6.S083: Building Mobile Applications (Fall 2011)
  • App Inventor for Android
  • NSF Engineering Senior Design Projects to Aid Persons with Disabilities
    From 1989 to 2012, the NSF supported a program for student engineers to cover supplies, equipment, and fabrication costs for assistive technologies. Approximately 20 U.S. universities participated and each year a book was compiled with two-page papers describing the design, solution, and results. (Approximately 140 projects were in the 2012 edition.)
  • One Switch UK
    A collection of simple computer games that can be played with just one switch input
  • Shapeways 3D Printing, 3D-printing-as-a-service
  • danger!awesome, laser-cutting and etching studio in Central Square
  • OpenSim Community, part of the National Center for Simulation in Rehabilitation Research (NCSRR)
  • Disability Resources

  • MIT Student Disability Services
  • The Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Disability Law Center: This is Massachusetts' Protection and Advocacy group for people with disabilities. "These good folks can help you understand your rights, and may be able to help you secure employment (and possibly training) in your field of choice."
  • The Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Executive Office of Health and Human Services' list of Blindness and Vision Impairment resources.
    "These resources are dedicated to raising awareness of resources for individuals with vision impairment, legal blindness or deaf/blindness and intellectual disability."
  • Principles of Assistive Technology

  • World Health Organization: International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF)

    Commercially Available Assistive Technology Resources

  • Surfing the Internet with JAWS and MAGic from Freedom Scientific
  • TASH Mini Relax Switch
  • Enabling Devices: This is a good source for switches and other basic assistive devices.
  • Spaulding Rehabilitation Network's (SRN) Assistive Technology Center in Boston
  • Math Melodies, an app for iPad that helps visually impaired children to learn mathematics. Download app from App store here. Available both in Italian and English language.
  • Events and Competitions

  • Abilities Expo Boston: A 3-day event in downtown Boston that brings together the community of people with disabilities, their families, caregivers, seniors and healthcare professionals.
  • AT&T ConnectAbility Challenge: A global software development competition leveraging mobile and wireless technologies to improve the lives of people living with disabilities. One of our PPAT teams won this competition in 2015.
  • Other Relevant Subjects at MIT and Elsewhere

  • 2.S97, Iterative Interactive Design: Offered during IAP (January Term)
  • 2.009 Product Engineering Processes
  • 6.170 Software Studio
  • 6.141 Robotics: Science & Systems
  • 6.813/6.831 User Interface Design & Implementation
  • 6.S078 Entrepreneurship Project
  • 6.S976 Founder's Journey
  • ESD.051J Engineering Innovation & Design
  • D-Lab
  • EC.722 Prosthetics
  • MAS.600 Human 2.0
  • MAS.863J How to Make (Almost) Anything
  • Water Jet Technologies: (MIT Hobby Shop with past projects at The Boston Home and the Protestant Guild Learning Center), Ken Stone
  • Wheelchair Design in Developing Countries: Spring 2010 and Spring 2009, Amos Winter, Amy Smith
  • Rutgers University: MAE 473: Design of Assistive Devices, Kathryn Higgins
  • Stanford University: ENGR110/210: Perspectives in Assistive Technology, David Jaffe

    Resource Links from Textbook

  • Abledata
  • AbleLink Technologies
  • American Occupational Therapy Association
  • Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA)
  • Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe (AAATE)
  • AT&T Natural Voices demo
  • Australian Association of Occupational Therapists
  • Australian Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Association (ARATA)
  • Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists
  • Cepstral (Synthetic Voices)
  • Closing the Gap (CTG)
  • CSUN Conference
  • DECtalk, MIT lab
  • E-triloquist
  • Freedom Scientific
  • International Seating Symposium
  • International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC)
  • Invacare Corporation
  • Microsoft Accessibility