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The NIDRR Program Directory: Introduction

Below is the introduction printed in the hard copy version of the directory. See the publications list for information on downloading the Directory.

Produced by the
National Rehabilitation Information Center
Landover, MD

Mark X. Odum
Director

Jessica H. Chaiken
Media and Public Education Manager

Catherine E. Graves and Marta P. Garcia
Media and Information Specialists


 

The mission of NIDRR is to generate new knowledge and promote its effective use to improve the abilities of people with disabilities to participate in community activities of their choice, and also to enhance society’s capacity to provide full opportunities and accommodations for its citizens with disabilities. NIDRR conducts comprehensive and coordinated programs of research and related activities to assist in the achievement of the full inclusion, social integration, employment, and independent living of individuals of all ages with all types and degrees of disability, including low-incidence disability. This edition of the NIDRR Program Directory lists all projects funded by NIDRR during the 2013 fiscal year.
 

NIDRR’s Research Program

NIDRR is committed to maintaining its focus on practical application of research, development, knowledge translation, capacity building, technical assistance, and information dissemination to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families. Under the 2013-2017 Long Range Plan, NIDRR supports a wide range of research, development, and other activities designed to assist individuals with disabilities to achieve long-term outcomes such as independence, community participation, employment, and good health. The majority of NIDRR grantees are universities or organizations of rehabilitation or related services. NIDRR makes awards through several program mechanisms including ADA National Network Projects, Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training Projects, Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects, Mary E. Switzer Research Fellowships, Model Systems, NIDRR Contracts, Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers, Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers, and Small Business Innovation Research. Program descriptions are provided below. NIDRR’s Long-Range Plan for 2013-2017 was published in the Federal Register in April 2013. To download a copy, go to https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-07879
 

ADA National Network Projects

NIDRR funds the ADA National Network to provide information, training, and technical assistance related to the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) to businesses, agencies, and the public, as well as conducting ADA-related research. Presently, ten ADA regional centers, one ADA collaborative research center, and one ADA knowledge translation center are funded under this program.

 

Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training Projects

The Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training (ARRT) Program provides research training and experience at an advanced level to individuals with doctorates, or similar advanced degrees, who have clinical or other relevant experience. ARRT projects provide training to rehabilitation researchers, including researchers with disabilities, with particular attention to research areas that support the implementation and objectives of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Act), and that improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Act.
 
Grants are made to institutions to recruit qualified persons, and to provide a training program that includes didactic and classroom instruction, is multidisciplinary, emphasizes scientific research methodology, and may involve collaboration among institutions.
 

Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects

The Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP) program funds projects that include a range of activities including research, demonstration, training, knowledge translation, and technical assistance. These projects may develop methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technology to assist in achieving the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with the most significant disabilities, or to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act.
 

Mary E. Switzer Research Fellowships

The Research Fellowships, named for the late Mary E. Switzer, give individual researchers the opportunity to develop new ideas and gain research experience. There are two levels of fellowships: Distinguished Fellowships and Merit Fellowships. Distinguished Fellowships go to individuals who have seven or more years of research experience in subject areas, methods, or techniques relevant to rehabilitation research and must have a doctorate, other terminal degree, or comparable academic qualifications. Merit Fellowships are given to individuals who have either advanced professional training or independent study experience in an area directly pertinent to disability and rehabilitation but who do not meet the qualifications for Distinguished, usually because they are in earlier stages of their careers. Both fellowship levels support one year of independent research activities.

 

Model Systems

NIDRR administers programs that have become world-renowned model systems of care for persons with spinal cord injuries, burns, and traumatic brain injuries. The Model Systems establish innovative projects for the delivery, demonstration, and evaluation of comprehensive medical, vocational, and other rehabilitation services. The work of the Model Systems begins at the point of injury and ends with successful re-entry into full community life. These projects collect and contribute data on patient characteristics, diagnoses, causes of injury, interventions, outcomes, and costs to a uniform national database; conduct research, both independently and collaboratively with other Model System centers; and coordinate research efforts with other related grant recipients. Beginning in 2006, NIDRR funded a Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) to support knowledge translation activities of all three Model Systems.

 

NIDRR Contracts

Through its contracts, NIDRR seeks improved methods, systems, products, and practices to enhance its work. The contracts are for specific activities related to management, research, and information dissemination. 

 

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers (RERCs) conduct programs of advanced research of an engineering or technical nature designed to apply advanced technology, scientific achievement, and psychological and social knowledge to solve rehabilitation problems and remove environmental barriers. Each center is affiliated with one or more institutions of higher education or nonprofit organizations. Involved at both the individual and systems levels, RERCs seek to find and evaluate the newest technologies, products, and methods that ultimately can benefit the independence of persons with disabilities and the universal design of environments for all people of all ages. The centers also exchange technical and engineering information worldwide and engage in technology transfer activities to maximize the use of new technology in producing end-user products, both commercialized and non-commercialized, that are readily available for public consumption. Since 2008, NIDRR has funded the Knowledge Translation for Technology Transfer (KT4TT) Center to assist RERC grantees in their technology transfer efforts.

 

Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers

NIDRR’s Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers (RRTCs) conduct coordinated and integrated advanced programs of research targeted toward the production of new knowledge, which may improve rehabilitation methodology and service delivery systems, alleviate or stabilize disabling conditions, or promote maximum social and economic independence for persons with disabilities. Operated in collaboration with institutions of higher education or providers of rehabilitation or other appropriate services, RRTCs serve as centers of national excellence in rehabilitation research. Also, they are national or regional resources for research information for individuals with disabilities and the parents, family members, guardians, advocates, or authorized representatives of the individuals. These centers also conduct related training programs, including graduate, pre-service and in-service training. The centers also disseminate and promote the utilization of research findings.

 

Small Business Innovation Research

The purpose of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is to stimulate technological innovation in the private sector, strengthen the role of small business in meeting Federal research or research and development needs, increase the commercial application of Federally-supported research results, and improve the return on investment from Federally-funded research for economic and social benefits to the Nation. SBIR grants at NIDRR help support the production of new assistive and rehabilitation technology. NIDRR supports Phase I and Phase II SBIR projects. Phase I grants support research that will contribute to proving the scientific or technical feasibility of the approach, concept, or product identified in the proposal. Phase II grants expand on the results of Phase I projects, allowing these businesses to pursue further development and to begin to explore the potential for commercialization.

 

NARIC and the NIDRR Program Directory

The Program Directory is compiled by the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC). NARIC functions as a specialized library, providing the public with disability- and rehabilitation-related information and services to help locate those materials and resources. Since 1977, NARIC has been the primary source of rehabilitation and disability information about and information generated by NIDRR-funded projects.
 
NARIC also produces REHABDATA, an index of disability and rehabilitation literature produced by NIDRR grantees as well as commercial publishers. Grantees submit copies of NIDRR-supported research products to NARIC and they are added to the reference collection and REHABDATA database. Information about holdings is available online at http://www.naric.com.
 
Neither NARIC nor NIDRR assumes liability for the Directory’s contents or the use thereof. NARIC does not evaluate or certify the programs or products of the organizations listed in the Directory. This Directory is not intended for use as a fiscal document to show how NIDRR funds are allocated; its purpose is to display the range of programs that NIDRR supports. This listing is current as of January 15, 2014. This directory may include projects that have passed the indicated extension date.
NARIC operates under U.S. Department of Education contract ED-OSE-10-0074.

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by Dr. Radut.