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The Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technolgy Project at San Francisco State University

Examples of Our Work

We have worked with hundreds of people with a wide range of injuries and disabilities. While most of the solutions have utilized readily-available products, many have required some level of modification of off-the-shelf items or custom design and fabrication. This page offers a small sampling of some of our unique solutions.

Old steel desk, before.

Old steel desk, after.

Many ergonomics solutions do not require the purchase of new furniture. In this typical scenario, an older steel desk was modified by the removal of the pencil drawer and installation of an adjustable keyboard tray. Sometimes the tray has to be modified or custom fabricated to fit within the available knee space.

A wheelchair rider to raises the lid of a copy machine with a push rod.

Push on rods and switches.

A simple accommodation enables a wheelchair rider to raise the lid of a copy machine. She uses the lift function of her powered wheelchair to supplement her limited arm strength, using a push rod we installed on the copier lid. Another access barrier was a pair of light switches that were out of reach. A pair of custom connecting rods enables our client to operate the light switches while seated in her wheelchair, without raising her arms.

Man with prosthetic hooks using a customized mouse.

This man needed an efficient way to access a mouse with his prosthetic hooks. A "Felix" mouse—that moved within a small, constrained area—was modified with a funnel-shaped head to accept the hook tip without slipping. Two external switches placed in an optimal location provided left and right mouse clicks, activated by his left hand. Other accommodations included an appropriate chair, and a modified book holder that he could adjust, fold up and carry independently.

Woman using motorized lazy suasan.

Motorized lazy susan.

Motor for motorized lazy susan.

A young woman with CP got a job that included entering information from paper documents into a computer. Rather than having someone always at hand to swap the pages for her, a motorized lazy susan was devised that could hold up to 12 pages placed on clipboards. Each time she hits a switch, the device rotates to the next page and stops. The switch engages a latching relay circuit that engages the motor. The position sensor is simply a limit switch that opens and closes as it hits raised bumps on the outer ring of the table.

Files in a hospital

File retainer

File retainer in use by a person.

File retainers in use.

An employee in a hospital records department lost strength in one hand and had difficulty holding long rows of heavy files in place while removing or replacing a single file folder. We devised a system where she could use her good hand to hook a pair of spring-loaded telescoping dividers between the back and front edge of a shelf to hold the adjacent files in place.

Woman in recline with LCD monitor.

We frequently work with people who have chronic back pain and need to work in a more reclined position. Once a suitable chair or other reclining surface is identified, the monitor has to be supported in place while allowing for adjustability and the user coming upright to get out of position. Other accessories have to be located within reach as well.


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