Episode 1: Who is the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC)?


Welcome to our inaugural episode! Today, we will share with you who NARIC is and what NARIC does.

Who Are We?

The National Rehabilitation Information Center, also known as NARIC, is the repository for the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). NARIC is a federally funded library that is focused on disability, independent living, and rehabilitation research whose core mission is the collection and dissemination of the results of research funded by NIDILRR. NARIC began as a small collection of research reports housed in a one-room office at Catholic University. Over its 45 years, NARIC’s mission has expanded to providing information services and document delivery to the disability and rehabilitation communities across the United States (US) and information services to the disability and rehabilitation communities across the Spanish-speaking world.

NARIC’s staff brings over 180 years of combined experience in information and referral services, library services, and database management to the disability and rehabilitation community, including NIDILRR staff and Grantees, rehabilitation professionals, people with disabilities, and the public. Our staff brings years of personal and professional experience in advocacy and policy, media, acquisitions management, multimedia collection development, case management for clients with traumatic brain injuries, technical writing, recreation therapy for pediatric and geriatric populations, data collection and analysis, and more.

What Do We Do?

Since 1977, NARIC and its staff have provided direct, personal, and high-quality information and referral services to anyone in the US. NARIC has been at the forefront of technology use to better serve our patrons, from electronic bulletin boards in the 1980s, to static and dynamic websites in the 90s, to live reference and multimedia in the 2000s, up to today’s connected and social media driven information and referral. At the turn of the 21st century, NARIC began providing information services and translation of its publications to Spanish-speaking disability and rehabilitation communities around the world. All of this is available 24 hours a day from NARIC’s website at www.naric.com.

As NIDILRR’s library, NARIC collects all the journal articles, books, factsheets, videos, and other materials produced by the NIDILRR grantee community. NARIC also collects journal articles and other materials from the international disability and rehabilitation research community – including items in French, German, Korean, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, Japanese, and other languages. NARIC’s REHABDATA is a searchable database that showcases the long-term and rich contributions of NIDILRR to rehabilitation research and services. Our patrons may use REHABDATA to search for the articles they need by visiting our website, www.naric.com, or they may request assistance from our staff. Through NARIC’s document delivery service, staff share journal articles requested by our patrons, who may include people with disabilities, social workers, policymakers, researchers, journalists, and other interested stakeholders. We bring NARIC’s unique collection into email inboxes around the world with REHABDATA Connection, a monthly alert service of new acquisitions, which is a great way to stay up on the latest research in the field.

NARIC also maintains the NIDILRR Program Database, a searchable database of all the projects funded by NIDILRR through the years and includes current and completed projects. This is a great way to look at what has been historically funded by NIDILRR! Each year, NARIC publishes The NIDILRR Program Directory, which captures all the projects funded by NIDILRR during the latest fiscal year.

We actively promote the work of the NIDILRR community through our weekly newsletter, News and Notes from the NIDILRR Community and Beyond, which is sent out in English and made available on our website in English and Spanish. In this newsletter, we share the latest news from NIDILRR and NIDILRR grantees, including notable news items, events, the latest articles added to NARIC’s collection, opportunities to participate in research, and more.

Through our Research In Focus series, we promote interesting findings from the NIDILRR community in easy-to-read summaries in English and Spanish that present readers with an overview of a recently-published NIDILRR-funded study, highlighting important findings, and discussing implications or directions for future research. We hand-select the articles from our diverse collections with the aim to broadly cover interesting research in many areas of disability, various types of interventions, and a wide age spectrum from early childhood to aging with and into disability.

Are you looking for other resources in your area? Look at NARIC’s Knowledgebase, which contains more than 3,000 resources ranging from organizations and agencies to periodicals and web resources within the US, Spain, and Latin America. Each listing includes contact information, an abstract, and highlights of the products and services offered. If you are not sure where to start, NARIC provides a Ready Reference of carefully selected, topically organized resources, and NARIC’s Librarian Picks, chock-full of organizations regularly shared by our librarians and information specialists. Still not sure of the information or organizations that you may need? Contact NARIC’s information specialists in English and Spanish via our chat available on our website at www.naric.com, by calling 800/346-2742, or by emailing naricinfo@heitechservices.com.

This podcast is a production of the National Rehabilitation Information Center, or NARIC. NARIC is operated by Blackfish Federal LLC and HeiTech Services, Inc., under a contract from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, contract #140D0421C0021.