We nurture early babbles into first words, and applaud as they gain strength to roll over, to sit up, to crawl.
We scan the horizon of the twenty-first century and see an increasingly interconnected and competitive world that at times seems familiar and at times utterly not.
And some of my favorite moments as dean were indeed spent mentoring such students. The bots came to mind as I watched my students live their college lives still somehow looking over to the sidelines for mom or dad’s direction, protection, or intervention, as if they were five years old playing soccer and needing mom or dad to point in which direction to kick the ball.
And yes, of course, those things are obstacles—sometimes tremendous obstacles—to a person’s chances for becoming their best self.
From my work with countless young adults over a decade as Stanford’s freshman dean I’ve learned that having the courage to be who we are regardless of what other people want us to be— So I’m also interested in what gets in the way of each of us being our best self. I used to think the obstacles stemmed chiefly from otherness, outsider-ness, from being on the margins because of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, citizenship, family background, hardship, trauma, or abuse.
The know-how to do this has been years in the making.
In 1996 we were issued our first patent and in 2006 our Text Speak speech products were deployed in space by the Shuttle Discovery.
Text Speak series generate speech as Augmentative Speech Aid, Adaptive and Assistive Keyboards, AAC, communication devices, and assistive technology.