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Rehabilitative and Assistive Technology: For Researchers and Health Care Practitioners

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AccessIT: The National Center on Accessible Information Technology in Education External Web Site Policy

This Web-based resource, available through the University of Washington with funding from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), provides information and training materials to increase the use of accessible information technology in educational settings.

American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPMR) External Web Site Policy

AAPMR is the national medical society representing more than 8,000 physicians who are specialists in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation. These physicians specialize in nerve, muscle, bone, and brain injuries and illnesses and use nonsurgical approaches to decrease pain and restore function.

American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. (AOTA) External Web Site Policy

AOTA is a national professional association representing the interests and concerns of occupational therapy practitioners and students of occupational therapy. It also aims to improve the quality of occupational therapy services.

American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA) External Web Site Policy

This national trade association provides business services and products to orthotic and prosthetic professionals. AOPA also works to raise awareness of the profession and to impact policies that affect the future of the orthotics and prosthetics industry.

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) External Web Site Policy

APTA is an individual membership professional organization representing more than 80,000 member physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical therapy.

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) External Web Site Policy

ASHA is the professional, scientific and credentialing association for audiologists; speech-language pathologists; and speech, language, and hearing scientists.

Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP) External Web Site Policy

AAP is an organization of physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians who work to improve patient care and advancements in the field through research, education, and advocacy. The AAP’s official journal is the American Journal Of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation External Web Site Policy.

Behavioral Sciences and Rehabilitation Technologies (BSRT) Program

BSRT is a program within NICHD’s National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR) that focuses on advancing knowledge relevant to the role of behavior in people with physical disabilities. A major focus of the program is to support research that informs the development or redevelopment of emotional, cognitive, and physical attributes. The rehabilitative engineering portion of the program develops and supports the application of engineering and bioengineering principles to study the habilitation of people with disabilities. A major focus of the program’s mission is to support the development of assistive and rehabilitative technologies.

Blue Ribbon Panel on Rehabilitation Research at the NIH: A Preliminary Report to NICHD Council (PDF - 528 KB)

This report, given on June 7, 2012, gives an overview on NIH-supported research on rehabilitation technology.

Institute of Medicine (IOM) External Web Site Policy

In 2007, the IOM issued a report titled The Future of Disability in America. The report focuses on several topics, including the definition, measurement, and monitoring of disability; trends in disability; secondary health conditions and aging with disability; transitions for young people with disabilities from pediatric to adult health care services; assistive technologies and supportive physical environments; coverage of assistive technologies; and recommendations for research.

Medical Rehabilitation Research Infrastructure Network

This network, funded through the NICHD’s National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research with additional support from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, builds research infrastructure in medical rehabilitation by providing investigators with access to collaborative opportunities from allied disciplines, such as neuroscience, engineering, applied behavior, and the social sciences.

National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR)

The NICHD’s NCMRR fosters research to enhance the health, productivity, independence, and quality of life for people with disabilities.

National Eye Institute (NEI) Program in Low Vision and Blindness Rehabilitation

This NEI program supports research to develop and improve technologies that help people with visual impairment use visual media and navigate their environment as well as related topics.

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)

The NIH’s NIBIB is dedicated to developing and accelerating the application of biomedical technologies to improve health. Technologies for rehabilitation and assistive devices for people with disabilities are a major area of interest for the Institute.

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

The NIDCD supports and conducts research to improve the lives of people with communication disorders. Part of its research support includes assistive technologies for people with hearing loss.

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)

NIDRR is one of three components of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the Department of Education. NIDRR’s mission is to generate new knowledge and promote its use to improve the abilities of people with disabilities to perform activities of their choice in the community. It also seeks to expand society’s capacity to provide full opportunities and accommodations for its citizens with disabilities.

Spinal Cord and Musculoskeletal Disorders and Assistive Devices (SMAD) Program

The activities of this NICHD NCMRR program focus on (1) developing and supporting the application of devices to improve the human and environment interface, and (2) restoring or enhancing an individual’s capacity to function in his or her environment.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Stroke Rehabilitation (TSR) Program

TBI and stroke are among the leading causes of acute and chronic disability in this country. The TSR Program within the NICHD’s NCMRR supports research to understand all aspects of TBI and stroke. Not only does the program aim to develop and assess medical rehabilitation therapies and interventions to improve function, quality of life, and outcomes, but it also supports efforts related to secondary conditions of TBI and stroke, such as muscle atrophy, speech and language difficulties, pain, and psychological and psychosocial effects of these conditions.

Please note: Links to organizations and information included on this page do not indicate endorsement from the NICHD, NIH, or HHS.

Last Updated Date: 11/30/2012
Last Reviewed Date: 11/30/2012
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