RESNA logo

RESNA History Pilot Project Opportunity at the Annual Conference

The RESNA History Committee is charged with the collection and website display of artifacts relating to the history of assistive technology, especially those relating to RESNA or its members.

In addition to physical objects, history also includes stories, recollections, and reflections. In an effort to capture these elements, a participatory history project will be piloted at the annual conference in Baltimore.

All those attending the conference are invited to contribute to this effort by providing verbal descriptions of significant RESNA-related assistive technology events and experiences. This could include stories about colleagues, on-the-job situations, special occasions, or personal memories. A list of sample questions and topics can be found below.

To participate, just bring your memories along with any props you might have to the conference and plan to spend no more than 5 minutes describing them. Participation by small groups as well as individuals is welcomed. Jerry Weisman's son, Jake, will operate a camcorder in Grand Ballroom #5 between 5 and 6pm on Saturday and Sunday to record your history contribution. Gift cards will be given to the first ten contributors. (No video material collected at the conference this year will be made public.)

After the conference, the History Committee will evaluate the success of this trial effort by reviewing the videos and reading your comments and then consider strategies to employ to enhance this process at next year's conference.

Your suggestions about this pilot effort are most welcomed. Please let me know if you would like to participate.

See you soon in Baltimore,

Dave Jaffe
RESNA History Committee Chair

Sample Questions and Topics for Your Contribution to RESNA History Pilot Project

Respond to one or more of the following questions or topics, comment with respect to your RESNA involvement, and limit your time to five minutes. You are welcome to make several separate contributions.

  1. How did you get into the rehabilitation engineering and/or assistive technology field?
  2. What made you choose this field?
  3. Why is rehabilitation engineering and/or assistive technology important to you?
  4. Describe your past and current work in the field.
  5. What are some of your most memorable successes in the field?
  6. What do you consider your greatest contributions to the field?
  7. What are some of your most memorable failures in the field? How did you deal with them?
  8. Describe changes in the field since you first entered it.
  9. What do you perceive as the most important advances in the field? How have they affected your work?
  10. What do you see as the future of rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology?
  11. Has there been a particular person who was an inspiration or mentor to you? Describe your relationship with that individual.
  12. Describe other colleagues (especially RESNA members) you've worked with.
  13. Describe your roles - past, present, and future - within RESNA.
  14. What do you see as the future of RESNA?
  15. Relate a short story about a particular RESNA event or RESNA-related experience - such as your fondest memory, funniest situation, most inspirational moment, best learning experience, etc.
  16. Briefly reflect on your career in the rehabilitation engineering / assistive technology field as well as the role and importance of RESNA.

The RESNA History Committee will also gladly accept your digital or scanned photographs, past presentations, posters, slides, brochures, announcements, text, or video contributions for posting on the RESNA History Website. Just email the files (or links) along with a complete description.