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Service Learning: Assistive Technology Undergraduate Design Projects

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Capstone Design and Innovations in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1156.1 - 25.1156.10



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Paper Authors


Steven F. Barrett University of Wyoming

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Steven F. Barrett, Ph.D., P.E., received a B.S. in electronic engineering technology from the University of Nebraska, Omaha, in 1979, a M.E.E.E. from the University of Idaho at Moscow in 1986, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1993. He was formally an active duty faculty member at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, and is now professor of electrical and computer engineering and Associate Dean for Academic Programs, College of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Wyoming. He is a member of IEEE (senior) and Tau Beta Pi (Chief Faculty Advisor). His research interests include digital and analog image processing, computer-assisted laser surgery, and embedded controller systems. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Wyoming and Colorado. He co-wrote with Dr. Daniel Pack eight textbooks on microcontrollers and embedded systems and a book on the fundamentals of teaching. In 2004, Barrett was named Wyoming Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and in 2008 was the recipient of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) Professional Engineers in Higher Education Engineering Education Excellence Award.

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Scott A. Morton University of Wyoming

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Jeffrey R. Anderson University of Wyoming


Sandra Root-Elledge University of Wyoming

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Sandra Root-Elledge, M.S., is an Associate Lecturer and Associate Director of the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities at the University of Wyoming. She directs Wyoming Assistive Technology Resources, Wyoming's Assistive Technology Act program and programs related to assistive technology, accessible instructional materials, and the education of individuals with disabilities. She is a recent Past President of the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs (ATAP) Board of Directors and of the Wyoming Advisory Panel for Students with Disabilities.

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Cameron H. G. Wright P.E. University of Wyoming Orcid 16x16

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Cameron H. G. Wright, Ph.D, P.E., is an Associate Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyo. He was previously professor and Deputy Department Head in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and served as an R&D Engineering Officer in the U.S. Air Force for more than 20 years. He received the B.S.E.E. (summa cum laude) from Louisiana Tech University in 1983, the M.S.E.E. from Purdue University in 1988, and the Ph.D. from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1996. Wright's research interests include signal and image processing, real-time embedded computer systems, biomedical instrumentation, and engineering education. He is a member of ASEE, IEEE, SPIE, BMES, NSPE, Tau Beta Pi, and Eta Kappa Nu. His teaching awards include the Tau Beta Pi WY-A Undergraduate Teaching Award (2011), the IEEE Student Branch's Outstanding Professor of the Year (2005 and 2008), the Mortar Board "Top Prof" Award (2005 and 2007), the Outstanding Teaching Award from the ASEE Rocky Mountain Section (2007), the John A. Curtis Lecture Award from the Computers in Education Division of ASEE (1998, 2005, and 2010), and the Brigadier General R. E. Thomas Award for outstanding contribution to cadet education (both 1992 and 1993) at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Wright currently serves as Associate Department Head, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

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Service Learning: Assistive Technology Undergraduate Design ProjectsIt is essential that our next generation of engineers be educated about the needs of all individuals withand without disabilities. This may be accomplished via service learning opportunities that providestudent engineers the opportunity to learn about and participate in universal design related projects. Inthis paper we describe a National Science Foundation sponsored project to link assistive technologyneeds with senior capstone design projects. The College of Engineering and Applied Science haspartnered with the (state name) INstitute for Disabilities (_IND) to publicize this program throughout thestate. Assistive technology project needs requests are submitted to_IND staff. Projects are thenreviewed by a team of senior design instructors to determine required senior design team size andcomposition to complete the projects. Student teams then choose the projects and work with those whohave requested the project to develop a useable assistive technology device. This program meets manyneeds including providing custom, assistive technology devices and meaningful capstone senior designprojects. This paper provides detailed information on program implementation, challenges andsuccesses. Several recently completed projects including an assistive fishing device will be highlightedas case studies.

Barrett, S. F., & Morton, S. A., & Anderson, J. R., & Root-Elledge, S., & Wright, C. H. G. (2012, June), Service Learning: Assistive Technology Undergraduate Design Projects Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21913

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