A 5-year grant from the US Department of Education’s National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) was recently awarded to the Atlanta, Ga-based Shepherd Center and the Georgia Institute of Technology, also headquartered in Atlanta. The award will support the continuation of research and the development of wireless technology at the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC). The Wireless RERC is the collaborative research and engineering effort of Shepherd Center and Georgia Tech Wireless. 

Mike Jones, PhD, director of Sheperd Center’s Crawford Research Institute and co-director for the Wireless RERC grant, says he is pleased that NIDRR continues its support of Wireless RERC’s work. Jones emphasizes that the rapid evolution of wireless technology, “Requires ongoing effort to ensure that the accessibility needs of people with disabilities are incorporated into new technologies.”

The funding will, “Allow us to move into new and emerging areas and leverage our relationships with the wireless industry, disability organizations, governmental agencies, and other researchers and engineers to promote equitable access to wireless technologies and to develop new assistive technologies build on wireless platforms,” says Helena Mitchell, PhD, executive director of the Center for Advanced Communications Policy (CACP) at Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy and principal investigator and co-director of the Wireless RERC grant.

The Wireless RERC will also utilize the grant to continue its work in developing solutions to enhance the effectiveness and accessibility of emergency alerting and access to 9-1-1, as well as its work in public policy research, which includes emergency services and wireless use and usability by consumers with disabilities.

Source(s): Shepherd Center, Georgia Institute of Technology