rehabilitation and disability recommended by this committee. It should be a priority to increase this effort.

Disability Studies A significant portion of the funding for this division of ADRR would be apportioned to support the field of disability studies. The committee encourages the development and support for the examination of people with disabling conditions and cultural response through a variety of lenses, including but not limited to economics, political science, religion, law, history, architecture, urban planning, literature, and fine arts.

Engineering and Environmental Research Division The activities of this committee revealed a significant weakness in the overall research activities related to rehabilitation engineering and environmental modification. Notably, the lives of people with disabling conditions can be enhanced through environmental strategies, including assistive technology and universal design, among others.

Assistive Technology and Engineering Few resources are allocated to studying the development, deployment, and use of assistive technologies. The coordination of these resources is minimal. The major source of current research effort, Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers, which are currently funded through NIDRR, would continue to be funded for the existing award period. Again, the topics for funding would provide the organizational structure for the ADRR rather than the funding mechanism (e.g., Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers). The topics in this branch of ADRR would include robotics, orthotics, prosthetics, wheelchairs, communication devices, visual aids, and others.

Universal Design A second branch in this division would fund those projects that are directed at modifying the built environment and assessing the natural environment for access. This branch would fund studies of universal design, special needs environments, mass transit vehicles (e.g., lightrail, passenger trains, airplane seating, and buses) and the structural and product engineering aspects of technologies. The branch would foster a Framingham-type study for several site examinations of the influence of changes in environmental access and accommodation mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and how they change the participation of people with potentially disabling conditions in major life activities.

Training and Career Development Division This division would focus on three different areas of training. Not only would it include traditional career development awards to attract scientists and engineers to

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement