The purpose of the RERC program is to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act by conducting advanced engineering research on and development of innovative technologies that are designed to solve particular rehabilitation problems or to remove environmental barriers for people with disabilities. RERCs also demonstrate and evaluate such technologies, facilitate service delivery system changes, stimulate the production and distribution of new technologies and equipment in the private sector, and provide training opportunities.
Field-Initiated RERC on Rehabilitation Strategies, Techniques, and Interventions: In the area of rehabilitation strategies, techniques, and interventions, NIDILRR seeks to fund research and development that leads to rehabilitation practices and services that improve the health and the physical, cognitive, sensory, and communication abilities of people with a wide range of disabling conditions. Rehabilitation engineering in this area should result in new or improved products, devices, and technological advances that enhance rehabilitation services in clinical, community, or home settings.
The Administrator of the Administration for Community Living (ACL) establishes a priority for a Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Rehabilitation Strategies, Techniques, and Interventions. Under this priority, the RERC must research, develop, and evaluate innovative technologies and strategies that will result in new or improved knowledge, products, devices, and technological advances that enhance rehabilitation services and contribute to improved outcomes for people with disabilities in clinical, community, or home settings. The RERC must be designed to improve outcomes of people with disabilities in one or more of the following outcome domains: community living and participation, employment, or health and function.
Research and development topics under this priority may include but are not limited to: Robotics and automation technologies; virtual reality; telerehabilitation; recreational technology; health related products and equipment; and cognitive, sensory, and communication aids. However, ACL does not give an application that addresses these topics a preference over other applications.
Applicants must demonstrate, in their original application, that people with disabilities from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds will be included in study samples in sufficient numbers to generate knowledge and products that are relevant to the racial and ethnic diversity of the population of people with disabilities being studied. The RERC must describe and justify, in its original application, the planned racial and ethnic distribution of people with disabilities who will participate in the proposed research and development activities.
Applicants under the priority in this notice are required to specify in their proposal the following:
For Requirements applicable to RERC priorities, see page 5 of the FOA Document in Attached Files.
Estimated Total Program Funding: