Mark Bresler submitted this
I worked under
Joe Traub from September 1976 until December 1977. He was director of the U.S.
Department of Health Education and Welfare office that funded rehabilitation
engineering research including the Rehabilitation Engineering Centers. Along
with Dick LeClair and Gladys, the secretary, we managed quite a variety of
domestic and international projects. Prior to my arrival, many countries would
pay for grain imports in their local currency. These funds were used by the
United States to help maintain their embassies, with a surplus sometimes
accruing. Countries could apply to use these funds for research and indeed many
countries took advantage of this opportunity, conducting rehabilitation related
activities. Joe visited many of these overseas research projects in such places
as India, Ceylon, Israel, Pakistan, and Egypt (this is in no means a full
list). His work in Egypt made him friendly with Mrs. Sadat, who visited him on
several occasions when she was in the United States.
prosthetist, he was very aware of people's gait. One day he observed me
carrying my briefcase and suggested I change hands so that I was not carrying
it in my dominant hand, a practice I have continued to this day.
I need to
elaborate on my timeline. I was started out on a 700 hour temporary
appointment. This was not renewed fast enough, so Joe and Ben Wilson arranged a
temporary transfer and I spent Christmas at Moss Rehab Hospital, living in the
nurse's quarters for several weeks working on electronic communication devices.
Once I returned to HEW, I realized I wanted to do engineering rather than the
paperwork behind engineering so Joe arranged with Colin McLaurin for me to come
to the University of Virginia REC.
I realize this
is very sketchy, if I knew I would be asked to recall my time with Joe so many
years later, I could have taken more notes and saved some papers. I am very
thankful to Joe and Dick for giving me the opportunity to meet many of the
movers and shakers in assistive technology and helping give my career such a