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CATLab (Cultivating Autonomy through Technology Laboratory)

California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) is creating the future by developing curricula to train a workforce of gero-engineers to develop assistive technology to help older adults successfully age in place (extend their ability to independently live in their homes).  Through cross-disciplinary collaboration, CSUF is working toward a dynamic unique research, teaching, and product development center that would be the first of its type in California: Cultivating Autonomy through Technology Laboratory (CATLab).  CATLab will provide a resource for innovation grounded in expertise and experience, be able to develop prototype technologies that could be tested in state of the art facilities in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, and enable product/prototype testing by older adults through CSUF’s Institute of Gerontology and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

CATLab will provide a nexus of collaboration between public and private partnership development and creativity. CATLab will include aspects of an incubator to assist new business growth, provide academic-based education and training, and pursue cutting edge technology development. This unique partnership between the departments of engineering and gerontology at CSUF opens a gateway for Orange County to be a premiere leader in assistive technology.

CATLab will be grounded in best practice principles in a person-oriented approach that allows people to live at home as long as possible with the assistance of computer technology, new assistive devices, or ways that we have not even yet considered.

With interest and support from public and private organizations devoted to the well-being of our older adult population, CATLab will integrate the strengths and unique foci of various aspects of the CSU system, including education programs and demonstration conferences.

CSUF collaborators include the: College of Engineering and Computer Science; Institute of Gerontology; College of Health and Human Development; College of Humanities & Social Sciences. Interdisciplinary CSUF CATLab team members and supporters include: Laura Zettel-Watson (Psychology), Barbara Cherry (Psychology), Debra Rose (Kinesiology), Sang June Oh (Mechanical Engineering), Pauline Abbott (Gerontology), Hart Roussel (College of Engineering and Computer Science), Susan Cadwallader (Marketing), Melanie Horn Mallers (Human Services), Echo Chang (Gerontology), Owen Holmes (Associate Vice President, Public Affairs and Government Relations), Raman Unnikrishnan (Dean, College of Engineering and Computer Science), and Angela Della Volpe (Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences).