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Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers (RERC)

There are 17 Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers (RERCs) that are funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR).

For more information on RERCs, contact the individual center directly or contact the National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research (NCDDR) at 1 800/266-1832 or visit their website, or the NIDRR website.


"The authority for RERCs is contained in section 204(b)(3) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 762(b)(3)). The Secretary of Education may make awards for up to 60 months through grants or cooperative agreements to public and private agencies and organizations, including institutions of higher education, Indian tribes, and tribal organizations, to conduct research, demonstration, and training activities regarding rehabilitation technology in order to enhance opportunities for meeting the needs of, and addressing the barriers confronted by, individuals with disabilities in all aspects of their lives. An RERC must be operated by or in collaboration with an institution of higher education or a nonprofit organization." (From: Federal Register. June 12, 1998)

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers embody the spirit and scientific rigor of the NIDRR. They are by definition centers of excellence - each one focusing on a specific area of disability related research. NIDRR support for the RERC Program enables some of the best and brightest engineers, scientists, and clinicians to develop and create technology innovations that will have a lasting impact on the lives of persons with disabilities. The purposes of the RERC program are to: develop, evaluate and disseminate innovative methods of applying advanced technology, scientific achievement, and psychological and social knowledge to solve rehabilitation problems and to remove environmental barriers; demonstrate and disseminate innovative models for the delivery of cost-effective rehabilitation technology services to rural and urban areas; conduct scientific research that will assist in meeting the employment and independent living needs of individuals with severe disabilities; and provide training opportunities to individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to become researchers and practitioners of rehabilitation technology in conjunction with institutions of higher education and nonprofit organizations.


RERC on Accessible Medical Instrumentation
Marquette University
Department of Biomedical Engineering
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201
Director: Jack Winters, PhD, Molly Follette Story, PhD
Phone: 414-288-7522
Fax: 414-288-7938

RERC on Communication Enhancement
Duke University
Department of Surgery
Division of Speech Pathology and Audiology
Durham, NC 27710
Director: Frank DeRuyter, PhD, Chief, Division of Speech Pathology and Audiology
Phone: 919-681-9983
Fax: 919-681-9984
TTY: 919-684-6626

RERC for Ergonomic Solutions for Employment
University of Michigan
Center for Ergonomics
1205 Beal Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2117
Director: Thomas J. Armstrong, PhD, Professor, Industrial and Operations Engineering
Phone: 734-615-2683
Fax: 734-764-3451

RERC on Hearing Enhancement
Gallaudet University
Division of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
Kendall Greene
Washington, DC 20002
Director: Matthew H. Bakke, PhD
Phone: 718-350-3203 (V/TTY)
Fax: 718-899-3433

RERC on Information Technology Access
Trace Research and Development Center
University of Wisconsin-Madison
5901 Research Park Boulevard
Madison, WI 53719-1252
Director: Gregg C. Vanderheiden, PhD
Phone: 608-262-2309
Fax: 608-262-8848
TTY: 608-263-5408

RERC on Improved Technology Access for Land Mine Survivors
Physicians Against Land Mines (PALM)
Center for International Rehabilitation
351 East Huron, Second Floor Annex
Chicago, IL 60611
Directors: William Kennedy Smith, MD, President, PALM; Dudley S. Childress, PhD
Phone: 312-926-0030
Fax: 312-926-7662

RERC on Prosthetics and Orthotics
Northwestern University
Rehabilitation Engineering Research Program and Prosthetics Research Laboratory
345 East Superior St.
Rm 1441
Chicago, IL 60611-4496
Director: Dudley S. Childress, PhD, Rehabilitation and Biomedical Engineering
Phone: 312-238-6524
Fax: 312-238-6510
TTY: 312-238-6530

RERC on Recreational Technologies and Exercise Physiology Benefiting Persons with Disabilities (RERC Rec-Tec)
University of Illinois at Chicago
Department of Disability and Human Development
1640 West Roosevelt Road, Suite 712
Chicago, IL 60608-6904
Director: James H. Rimmer, PhD
Phone: 312-413-9651
Fax: 312-355-4058
Website: Coming soon

RERC on Rehabilitation Robotics and Telemanipulation: Machines Assisting Recovery from Stroke (MARS)
Rehabilitation Institute Research Corporation
345 East Superior Street, Room 1406
Chicago, IL 60611-4496
Director: W. Zev Rymer, MD, PhD
Phone: 312-238-3919
Fax: 312-908-2208
Website: Coming soon

RERC on Technologies for Children with Orthopedic Disabilities
Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center
Los Amigos Research and Education Institute, Inc. (LAREI)
Rancho Rehabilitation Engineering Program
12841 Dahlia Street, Building 306
Downey, CA 90242
Director: Donald McNeal, PhD; Sam Landsberger, ScD
Phone: 562-401-7994
Fax: 562-803-6117
TTY: 562-803-4533

RERC on Spinal Cord Injury: Keep Moving: Technologies to Enhance Mobility and Function for Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury
Los Amigos Research and Education Institute, Inc (LAREI)
P. O. Box 3500
Downey, CA 90242
Directors: Samuel Landsburger, ScD; Robert Waters, MD
Phone: 562/401-8111
Fax: 562/803-5569
Website: Coming soon

RERC on Technology for Successful Aging
University of Florida
596 Museum Road
Gainesville, FL 32610
Phone: 352-392-2617
Phone: 800-628-2281 (V/TTY)

RERC on Technology Transfer
State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo
Center for Assistive Technology
515 Kimball Tower
3435 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14214-3079
Director: Joseph P. Lane, MBPA
Phone: 716-829-3141
Fax: 716-829-3217
TTY: 800-628-2281

RERC on Telerehabilitation
MedStar Research Institute
National Rehabilitation Hospital
102 Irving Street NW
Washington, DC 20010
Director: Michael Rosen, PhD
Phone: 202-877-1554
Fax: 202-723-0628

RERC on Universal Design and the Built Environment at Buffalo
Department of Architecture
Center for Inclusive Design & Environmental Access
378 Hayes Hall
Buffalo, NY 14214
Principal Investigator: Ed Steinfeld, ArchD
Phone: 716-829-3485, ext. 335
Fax: 716-829-3861

RERC on Universal Design and the Built Environment at NCSU
Center for Universal Design
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-8613
Principal Investigator: Laurie Ringaert
Phone: 800-647-6777 (V/TTY); 919-515-8547 (V/TTY)
Fax: 919-515-3023

RERC on Universal Telecommunications Access
Trace Center, College of Engineering
University of Wisconsin/Madison
5901 Research Park Boulevard, Suite 200
Madison, WI 53710-1252
Directors: Gregg C. Vanderheiden, PhD; Judy Harkins, PhD (Gallaudet University)
Phone: 608-263-2309
Fax: 608-262-8848
TTY: 608-263-5408

RERC on Wheelchair Transportation Safety
University of Pittsburgh
School of Rehabilitation Science and Technology
Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Director: Gina E. Bertocci, PhD
Phone: 412-383-6595
Fax: 412-383-6596

RERC on Wheeled Mobility
University of Pittsburgh
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Rehabilitation Science and Technology
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Director: David M. Brienza, PhD; Clifford Brubaker, PhD
Phone: 412-383-6591
Fax: 412-383-6597
TTY: 412-383-6598

RERC for Wireless Technologies (Wireless RERC)
Shepherd Center
Virginia Crawford Research Institute
2020 Peachtree Road, NW
Atlanta, GA 30309
Directors: Michael Jones, PhD, Shepherd Center; Helena Mitchell, PhD, Georgia Tech.
Phone: 404-367-1288
TTY/TDD: 404-367-1347
Fax: 404-350-7596

RERC on Workplace Accommodations
Georgia Institute of Technology
Center for Assistive Technology & Environmental Access
490 10th Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
Directors: Karen Milchus, Jon Sanford
Phone: 866-284-9675 (AT4-WORK)
404-894-0600 (V/TTY)
Fax: 404-894-9320

Smith-Kettlewell RERC
Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute
2318 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
Director: John A. Brabyn, PhD
Phone: 415-345-2110
Fax: 415-345-8455

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The National Assistive Technology Technical Assistance Partnership is a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Department of Education and RESNA. The grant (Grant #H224B050003; CFDA 84.224B) is funded under the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended and administered by the Rehabilitation Services Administration, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the U.S. Department of Education.

This website is developed with grant funds. The information contained on these pages does not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the U.S. Department of Education or the Grantee and no official endorsement of the information should be inferred.