Bessie Blount Griffin, physical therapist, and inventor of assistive technologies
Bessie Blount

Bessie Blount

Bessie trained as a physical therapist at Panzer College of Physical Education (later Montclair State University), and upon completing her training transferred to a veteran’s hospital in Chicago to assist World War II amputees. With many severe disabilities brought on by the war, this work was in high demand, and Bessie spent several years guiding the veterans in new ways to perform simple tasks after the loss of the ability to use their hands and feet. It was during this time that she began to pioneer groundbreaking assistive technologies that would help her patients conduct their everyday tasks unassisted.In light of the major challenges that these disabilities posed to eating, Bessie was first inspired to invent an electronic feeding device for patients who could no longer raise food to their mouths. The device was controlled by the patient biting down on the delivery tube, which administered small mouthfuls of food with each bite, allowing the patients to eat their meals at their own pace without requiring assistance.
Source: Bessie Blount Griffin, physical therapist, inventor and forensic scientist | The Valentina Project


The North Carolina Assistive Technology Program (NCATP) leads North Carolina's efforts to carry out the federal Assistive Technology Act of 2004. We promote independence for people with disabilities through access to technology. Visit our website at
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