Frequently Asked Questions
- What is assistive technology?
- What does RERC-ACT stand for?
- What is a Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center?
- Where is this Center located?
- What are cognitive disabilities?
- How many people in the United States have a cognitive disability?
- How can I become involved with, or receive more information about, the RERC-ACT?
|What is assistive technology?
Assistive technology is anything that helps a person perform a task of daily living. For example, some people need reading glasses to help them see, while other people need wheelchairs to help them move around. Both are examples of assistive technology.
The Assistive Technology Act of 1998 defines the term "assistive technology device" as any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. The term "assistive technology service" means any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.
|What does RERC-ACT stand for?
Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for the Advancement of Cognitive Technologies.
|What is a Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center?
According to the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers (RERCs) plan and conduct research leading to new scientific knowledge and new or improved methods, procedures and devices to benefit people with disabilities. They are engaged in developing and disseminating innovative methods of applying advanced technology, scientific achievement, and psychological and social knowledge, with the goal of solving rehabilitation problems and removing environmental barriers. There are 24 Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers in the United States funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.
|Where is this Center located?
The RERC-ACT’s headquarters are located at the Center for Technology, Disability and Aging in Denver, Colorado. However, RERC-ACT partners are located throughout the nation in California, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania. For map and directions, click here.
What are cognitive disabilities?
The word“cognitive”refers to the functions of the brain: knowing, thinking and learning. Some people are born with cognitive disabilities, such as autism or mental retardation, which can hinder development. Other cognitive disabilities can be caused by traumatic brain injury or stroke, while others can result from diseases that develop later in life, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
|How many people in the United States have a cognitive disability?
According to the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities at the University of Colorado in Boulder, there were 21.33 million persons with a cognitive disability in the United States in 2003.
|How can I become involved with, or receive more information about, the RERC-ACT?
You can get involved in the RERC-ACT by calling the Principal Investigator, Dr. Cathy Bodine at 1-800-255-3477. Or if you want to become more involved within the disability community, you can volunteer at your local community center, attend disability conferences, and/or learn more about disability advocacy. To learn more about these resources, please visit the Get Involved section.