Assistive Technology

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Resources include reports, websites, guidance, and programs on select topic.

ACCESS Project

The ACCESS project offers information and resources about Universal Design for Learning (UDL). The ACCESS project is a professional development initiative to infuse UDL philosophy, content, and instruction into faculty professional development at the postsecondary level. The project provides information about UDL, a series of UDL modules, and a section on research being conducted at the university regarding the use of UDL in classes.

Center for Applied Special Technology

The Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) web site offers information related to Universal Design for Learning, including publications, products, and professional development resources.

Center for Implementing Technology in Education

The Center for Applied Special Technology (CITEd) was created to support state and local education agency leadership to enhance the use of technology to support students in achieving positive education outcomes. CITEd’s website contains a variety of external resources related to UDL.

Center on Technology and Disability

CTD provides current, accurate, and relevant information resources on assistive and instructional technologies. It conducts outreach to a national infrastructure of organizations that work directly with families and children, strengthening their ability to provide technology-related support. The project also provides online forums, annual technology institutes, and in-depth monthly newsletters to educators, disability professionals, TA&D project personnel, and families.

EnACT: A Comprehensive Guide to Universal Design for Learning for Faculty

EnACT supports UDL implementation throughout the California State University (CSU) system with a comprehensive model of UDL professional development. Recognizing that faculty play a pivotal role in the success of all students, including students with disabilities, EnACT is designed to provide faculty within the CSU system the skills, support, and training necessary to ensure that students with disabilities are provided a high-quality post-secondary education. The project provides background information on UDL Faculty Learning Communities, which allow faculty to reflect on their teaching and provide feedback to each other in regards to including UDL in their courses, an online library of accessible instructional multimedia (AIM), and accessibility resources.

Machines Assisting Recovery from Stroke and Spinal Cord Injury for Reintegration into Society

Machines Assisting Recovery from Stroke Rehabilitation (MARS3) is a multi-institutional center designed to evaluate the utility of robotic devices for providing rehabilitation therapy after neural injury. Research activities focus substantially on recovery from stroke because individuals with stroke are by far the largest user group requiring intensive rehabilitation and assistance. However, this center also pilots new applications in spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, and aging. Seven research and development projects center on the use of robots for restoration of function and return to society.

National Center on Accessible Educational Materials

The National Center on Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) Center provides technical assistance (TA) to state education agencies (SEAs), local education agencies (LEAs), and other stakeholders to (1) improve the implementation of NIMAS, and (2) develop and implement unified distribution systems in SEAs that will improve the timely delivery of high-quality AEM to all children with disabilities who need instructional materials in accessible formats.

National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standards

The National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) guides the production and electronic distribution of digital versions of textbooks and other instructional materials so they can be more easily converted to accessible formats, including Braille and text-to-speech.

Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Engineering Center

This project conducts research and development projects aimed at addressing the needs of children with orthopaedic disabilities. The overall goal of the project is to transfer and commercialize the research to offer new tools, better technologies, and improved treatment strategies for children with cerebral palsy, clubfoot, spina bifida, spinal cord injury, osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), and other conditions that cause mobility and manipulation problems. The project designs and develops devices and improved protocols that will help alert doctors, therapists, caregivers, and family members of joint overload concerns. Those devices include the development of an elliptical machine to improve neuromuscular control and stability in children.

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center: Accessible Public Transportation

The RERC on Accessible Public Transportation empowers consumers, manufacturers, and service providers in the design and evaluation of accessible transportation equipment, information services, and physical environments. Project activities build upon previous work to focus on enabling technology and universal design to support independent and efficient multi-modal travel in daily life, including its significant role in employment and social participation. Research and development activities provide new tools, research findings, guidelines, and products that advance the field of transportation and “last mile” (e.g., the portion of a trip from public transportation to the rider’s final destination) issues.

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center: Advancing Cognitive Technologies

The goals of the Research Center for Advancing Cognitive Technologies is to research, develop, evaluate, implement, and disseminate innovative technologies and approaches that will have a positive impact on the way in which individuals with significant cognitive disabilities function within their communities and workplaces. The Center’s research and development activities focus on expanding the cognitive technology standards for work, training, dissemination/knowledge utilization, and commercialization.

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center: Augmentative and Alternative Communication

This project conducts rigorous evidence-based research for designing effective augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technologies and interventions, develops and evaluates innovative AAC engineering solutions driven by consumer needs, and provides comprehensive training and dissemination to ensure that all individuals, including those with severe disabilities, have access to effective AAC to enhance the communication of individuals with complex communication needs (CCN).

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center: Communication Enhancement

The mission of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Communication Enhancement (AAC-RERC) is to assist people who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technologies in achieving their goals across environments. The goals and objectives of the AAC-RERC are to advance and promote AAC technologies through the outputs and outcomes of its research and development activities, and to support individuals who use, manufacture, and recommend these technologies in ways they value. The project builds on collaborative relationships with researchers and developers both in and outside of the field of AAC and assistive technology, including DynaVox Technologies, the Federal Laboratory Consortium, Department of Navy, and Research In Motion among others.

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center: Deaf/Hard of Hearing Technology

This Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center is designed to provide consumers who are hard of hearing or deaf, as well as their families and clinicians, with the knowledge and tools necessary to (1) take control of their communication and hearing technologies, adapt those technologies to their needs in real-world environments, and achieve greater autonomy in their technology use, and (2) derive full benefit of the shift from special-purpose devices to increasingly powerful and interconnected consumer electronics. The RERC aims to narrow the gaps between the potential for new technologies to improve the lives of individuals who are hard of hearing or deaf and their ability to exploit this potential. 

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center: Inclusive Design and Environmental Access

This project advances knowledge translation for universal design using a Knowledge-To-Action Model. It generates strategically important research, development, training, and dissemination deliverables that integrate universal design principles with the generally accepted models, methods, and metrics in the building and product manufacturing industries. Research and dissemination activities address three broad domains of the built environment: (1) housing, (2) public buildings, and (3) community infrastructure.

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center: Information and Communication Technology Access

The goal of this RERC is to mitigate accessibility barriers to information and communication technology (ICT) for persons with disabilities (PwDs) with functional and device limitations, provide affordable access to ICT for underserved populations, and develop innovative ICT to improve health and function, social participation, and employment among PwDs. The theme of “From Cloud to Smartphone: Empowering and Accessible ICT” guides the Center’s research and development activities which address cognitive and vocational rehabilitation, communication technology assessment and training, tele-rehabilitation infrastructure, and prevention and management of secondary condition.

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center: Rehabilitation Engineering and Applied Research Lab

This Rehabilitation Engineering and Research Center promotes new ways of conceptualizing and understanding wheeled mobility while focusing on devices and interventions that impact device use and activity performance. This approach enables as many individuals as possible to actively participate in everyday life. Project goals include four integrated program areas in research, development, training, and dissemination that utilize a variety of methodologies and scientific approaches taking research out of the laboratory and putting it into real-world, everyday environments.

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center: Tech to Evaluate and Advance Manipulation and Mobility

This RERC develops technologies to evaluate and advance mobility and manipulation for people with movement disabilities and includes a total of six projects: three combined development/research projects, two research projects, and one development project. Two projects are focused on upper limb amputees: the Voluntary Opening and Voluntary Closing Terminal Device (VOVC) Project and the Partial-hand Control Project.

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center: Tech to Support Successful Aging with Disabilities

The RERC TechSAge conducts programs of advanced rehabilitation engineering and technical research and development (R&D) to increase knowledge about, availability of, and access to effective, universally-designed technologies that enable people to sustain independence, maintain health, safely engage in basic activities of daily living at home and the community, and participate in society as they age with disability.

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center: Technology Access Program

This program lays the foundation for access in next generation technologies and creates bridge technologies, allowing users to migrate to new communication technologies without losing access to emergency services or the ability to communicate with colleagues and family who are still on older telecommunication networks. Extending across disabilities and technology platforms, research and development activities focus on three specific issues: (1) telecommunication access in emergency situations, (2) interoperability and transition between current and next generation telecommunication access, and (3) access to telecollaboration for employment and participation.

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center: Technology Increasing Knowledge - Tech Optimizing Choice

This project develops and evaluates innovative rehabilitation strategies, techniques, and interventions to enhance health, participation, and employment outcomes among adolescents and young adults with physical, cognitive, and neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center: Trace Research & Development Center

This RERC is focused on accessibility of information and communication technologies for persons across disability types and socio-economic levels. Accessibility issues addressed by this RERC stem from the interaction of four trends in information technology: (1) technology is increasingly required for all aspects of life (education, employment, health, safety, transportation, community participation, home management), (2) accessibility solutions do not exist for many groups – especially people with non-“mainstream” disabilities, (3) solutions that exist are often unaffordable, and (4) the number of different technology platforms, operating systems, and technology types that an individual must be able to use is increasing faster than assistive technology (AT) vendors can address.

RERC: Interactive Exercise Technologies and Exercise Physiology for People with Disabilities

The Interactive Exercise Technologies Center conducts advanced engineering research and development using new and emerging technologies to address the high rates of physical inactivity in youths and adults with disabilities. The Center includes a coordinated set of research, development, capacity building, and knowledge translation/dissemination projects focused on promoting healthier, more active lifestyles for people with disabilities. The key target areas for the research and development projects are improving access to recreation and exercise venues, and equipment, increasing opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in beneficial exercise, using technology to support greater adherence to regular exercise, and promoting regular exercise and active lifestyles for people with disabilities as a way to improve health and function.

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