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University of Connecticut Assistive Technology Oral History Project

R. J. Cooper

President - RJ Cooper & Associates

Date: October 20, 2007

Snippet 1: "How did you get into the disability field?" (5:45)

Snippet 2 "Tell us about the Cooper Car" (4:28)

Download: Full Transcript

R.J. began in AT about 1983 when he wanted to do something different with his computer science education and electrical engineering courses at the University of Utah.

Needing to find solutions for a friend with a spinal cord injury, the two began exploring voice recognition, borrowing hardware, working on software, modifying it, and showing their early efforts at a conference.

R.J. talks about the other "gurus" in technology and reflects on the excitement and fun of this early time in the field when there were only a few AT people, all of whom knew each other. The early conferences that influenced him are discussed, as well as the difference that academics and corporate involvement made in the field of AT. His reflections on current needs for more emphasis on wise purchasing, implementation, and correct use of technology are thought provoking and look to the future.