The Quality of Life Technology (QoLT) Center creates a motivational and compelling opportunity to influence the future direction of engineering education, outreach and career preparation. Our education and outreach vision evolved from the recognition of unique characteristics of QoLT: real-life narratives, integration across multiple disciplines, and direct impact on diverse stakeholder groups. Our vision embodies the transformation of all stakeholders from technology and technology artifact users to technology inventors and influencers. We aim for a transformation with far greater efficacy and diversity in the means by which technology has a truly measurable impact on quality of life.
Our education and outreach goals are to:
- Develop, enhance and disseminate curricula that emphasize participatory design, teamwork and cross-disciplinary training
- Inspire and motivate students along the pipeline to pursue QoLT and instill in them a strong sense of service to humanity
- Empower people, especially individuals with disabilities, to be able to improve their own lives and the lives of people they know, through the application of engineering and design principles in concert with lateral and multi-disciplinary problem solving
To be part of QoLT, students must be mentored by a QoLT faculty member and enrolled in a QoLT-affiliated degree program. Through this connection, the student becomes part of the QoLT research team, providing them access to our growing community of engineers, scientists, clinicians, practitioners, and consumers. This experience enables the student to be intellectually prepared and motivated to create, assess and apply technology to benefit people with disabilities and older adults. The Center also has a Student Leadership Council (SLC) that supports the QoLT ERC and promotes dialog and community surrounding research in assistive technologies.