Researchers Improve Wireless Technologies to Help People with Disabilities
That's the idea behind wearable micro-display glasses, one of 14 research projects now under way at the new Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Mobile Wireless Technologies for Persons with Disabilities.
The center's work involves researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology, the Georgia Centers for Advanced Telecommunications Technology (GCATT) and the Shepherd Center, an Atlanta-based catastrophic care hospital. It is primarily funded by a $5 million five-year federal grant awarded to GCATT last winter by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). The grant created one of 17 national Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers (RERC) -- this one housed on the Georgia Tech campus.
"With this grant we are able to move from research to real-world applications of technology to address the needs of people with disabilities," says Helena Mitchell, director of GCATT's Office of Technology Policy and Programs, and principal investigator and director for the RERC. "The collaborative, interdisciplinary nature of our team generates dynamic and innovative solutions."
The RERC has two parallel goals: (1) to develop new and innovative ways of applying mobile wireless technologies to help people with disabilities, and (2) to promote the accessibility of new wireless devices. Although the RERC's immediate constituency is the estimated 54 million Americans with some form of disability, its research and development of friendlier technology is intended for the good of the entire population.