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 New Online Assistive Tech Degree Meets Increasing Demand

Around the world the number of people with disabilities continues to increase. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 61 million adults in the U.S. live with a disability. That includes people with mobility issues, vision, and hearing difficulties, cognitive problems, and other impairments that interfere with daily life. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 1 billion people worldwide need one or more assistive products.
California State University, Northridge (CSUN) responded to this crisis with its new online Master of Science in assistive technology engineering (ATE) program. Assistive technology (AT) includes devices, software, and products that improve the independence and lives of those with disabilities. Examples of AT include robotics, electronic aids, screen readers for computers, prosthetics, sensors and implants. AT also includes GPS navigators and artificial intelligence (AI), technology that’s widely used regardless of ability.
“From eyeglasses to wheelchairs to hearing aids, assistive technology provides freedom and independence to those in need, and convenience to everyone,” says Robert D. Conner, Ph.D., professor of manufacturing systems engineering and management, and the faculty lead for the program.
“CSUN’s MS in assistive technology engineering degree provides the skills to be part of a burgeoning new arena in engineering.”
Students in CSUN’s ATE program will gain hands-on experience creating their own devices and innovations. Students also will collaborate with engineers, faculty, and other students to develop new products, and learn how to manage projects and teams.
The ATE program also fills the needs of students who want their profession to make a positive difference. Gallup research reports that mission and purpose motivate Millennials more than pay. And it isn’t just Millennials who want their work to make a difference. A 2018 LinkedIn study revealed that 71% of professionals say they would take a pay cut to work for a company that shared their own mission and values. 
CSUN is the ideal university to launch the ATE program. The university’s Center on Disabilities organizes the annual international Assistive Technology Conference where experts and AT professionals from around the world convene to discuss the latest developments in the field. And CSUN’s College of Engineering and Computer Science, where the program was developed, was included in the top 10% of engineering schools nationally in Best Engineering Colleges 2018 report.
The ATE degree provides so many benefits - a challenging program that prepares students for a prestigious career, a field that relies on engineers for innovation to meet the needs of people around the world and the chance to make a positive, powerful difference in the lives of people everywhere.
Classes start in Spring 2021, and the application deadline is November 17, 2020.
For more information about the program: https://go.csun.edu/AboutATE. For inquiries please contact Jessie Revlin, director of marketing and communications, CSUN’s Tseng College for Graduate, International and Midcareer Education, jessie.revlin@csun.edu.
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