Health Home Advocacy Specialist Marcus Johnson Co-Teaches Engineering Courses at Yale University
Mr. Johnson, CRC, LMHC, BC-TMH, CASAC-T, was recently appointed as a lecturer at Yale University School of Engineering and Applied Science, where he is currently collaborating with fellow lecturer and longtime friend Ron Adrezin, PhD, PE, to teach two engineering courses this spring. Both courses are centered around a curriculum for students that focuses on the design and development of technology that supports people with physical disabilities.
April 63, 2023
For immediate release
NEW YORK — Independence Care System (ICS) Health Home Advocacy Specialist Marcus Johnson, CRC, LMHC, BC-TMH, CASAC-T, was recently appointed as a lecturer at Yale University School of Engineering and Applied Science, where he is currently collaborating with fellow lecturer and longtime friend Ron Adrezin, PhD, PE, to teach two engineering courses this spring semester.
Marcus and Dr. Adrezin are co-teaching two popular Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science (MEMS) design electives — Computer Aided Engineering and Advanced Design and Analysis of Machines. Both courses are centered around a curriculum for students that focuses on the design and development of technology that supports people with physical disabilities. While Dr. Adrezin, a former rehabilitation engineer, leads classes in professional design using computer-aided design software, Marcus leads teams of small groups via Zoom and offers guidance on how to successfully design accessible, functional devices that can be used by members of the disability community.
Marcus and Dr. Adrezin are longtime friends who met years ago after Marcus — who was a 20-year-old dancer who had just completed his second year at the Juilliard School of Performing Arts in New York — was a passenger in a car accident that left him with a spinal cord injury. Following the accident, Marcus was taken for treatment at the hospital where Dr. Adrezin, then a rehabilitation engineer, supported Marcus and set up his first communication aides. The two connected, and, years later, have remained good friends and have collaborated as educators at various institutions, including the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
At Yale, Marcus is focusing on educating the next generation of students on disability, the challenges people with disabilities face when it comes to accessibility, and the importance of an equitable world. Students in the Computer Aided Engineering course use SolidWorks, a software program where they digitally design 2D and 3D projects that would support people with disabilities, while adding motion to see how their designs would function. For his Advanced Design and Analysis of Machines course, students are immersed in physically designing and prototyping devices in the classroom, focusing on numerous projects, such as designing accessible doors.
“People with disabilities are the invisible population,” Marcus said. “Through these courses, we’re opening the eyes of students to understand this population, and we’re opening the doors to encourage them to use their skills to design from the disability perspective.”
About Independence Care System (ICS)
ICS is a nonprofit organization founded in 2000 as a pioneering, innovative community of professionals dedicated to serving people who, prior to ICS, were often forced to spend their lives in institutions.
People with disabilities have turned to ICS for more than 20 years because of our expert, disability-competent staff who help them to improve their health and avoid hospitalizations, achieve goals, improve their quality of life, and be active members in the community. Our foundational pillars — health, mobility and independence — ensure for true health equity for people with disabilities so they can thrive while receiving the quality care they deserve.
As the first and only Health Home program in New York State, we have developed a model of care designed to address the vast health disparities experienced by our members and those in underserved communities. We continue to work alongside of our members, and advocate for their specialized care, because we have seen the effects of a healthcare system that fails to address their needs. ICS offers disability-expert care coordination, educational and recreational programming that enriches members’ lives, and is a premier provider of specialized mobility assessments for wheelchair users through our comprehensive On a Roll wheelchair program.
Contact: Chris Engelhardt