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Design of Assistive Technologies 2021

Enrollment is Closed

About This Course

BWSI Assistive Technology will help students develop skill for product design, rapid prototyping, and product testing in the context of building a technology solution for people living with disabilities. We will tackle real problems faced by people in the Greater Boston Area, and learn to work with the end users, stepping through the engineering design process together to come up with personalized, creative solutions.

Before arriving on campus students will be required to complete an online course introducing assistive technology, product design, and specific technical skills. The course will introduce students to key math, science, and engineering concepts that will be required on day one. The latter portion of the online course will be an open-ended design activity that will integrate the lessons on design thinking and the technical skills they learned in the earlier portions of the course. The online course will consist of the following modules: - What is assistive technology? - Design thinking - Design processes - Technical skills development - Open-ended design activity


This online course is introductory and provides the background material that is required for enrollment in the summer program.

Important Dates

  • Jan. 15: Enrollment opens
  • Feb. 1: Course starts
  • March 31: Applications for summer due [Modules 1-3 must be completed]
  • Apr. 30: Applicants notified of summer acceptance

Course Staff

Hosea Siu

Hosea Siu is a member of the technical staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. His technical work is focused on robotics and artificial intelligence, particularly in the areas of human exoskeleton development and parallel autonomy for human-robot teaming. He has been involved with the assistive technology community at MIT for a number of years, and helps organize the MIT Assistive Technology Hackathon every year.

Kyle Keane

Kyle Keane is an AI Research Scientist in MIT's Quest for Intelligence within the College of Computing ( In this role he is charged with building practical tools that use artificial intelligence to empower MIT faculty to address real-world research challenges. Dr. Keane is also a Lecturer in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, where he co-teaches 6.811/2.78/HST.420 Principles and Practices of Assistive Technology ( He also co-teaches assistive technology design courses for high school and middle school students through MIT Lincoln Labs' BeaverWorks Summer Institute ( He is a founding member of the Humanistic Co-design Initiative (, which provides infrastructure for local groups that want to collaborate with people who have disabilities in tackling real-world projects together. Humanistic Co-design is a extension of contemporary design approaches, such as design thinking and human-centered design, that emphasizes the emergent inspiration that comes from the dissolution of the designer-client relationship in favor of a mutual engagement of peers with complementary experiences and expertise. It is a non-dogmatic design philosophy that embraces the inherent creativity and ingenuity of humans as agents of change in their communities and environments.

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