Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Communication Enhancement
The Institute on Disabilities is one of the seven partners in the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Communication Enhancement or AAC–RERC.
The AAC-RERC conducts a comprehensive program of research, development, training, and dissemination activities that seek to improve technologies for individuals who rely on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technologies. The mission of the AAC-RERC is to assist people who rely on augmentative and alternative communication to achieve their goals by advancing and promoting AAC technologies and supporting the individuals who use, manufacture, and recommend them.
The focus of the Institute on Disabilities' contribution to the RERC is:
- To identify socially-valued vocabulary symbol sets that promote effective and efficient communication contexts and roles that are valued among adult AAC user populations and to make these vocabulary sets available to commercial manufacturers. We will implement a series of online focus groups to identify socially-valued adult vocabulary supports in six different relevant adult roles: 1) college students, 2) effective social networks across the age span, 3) personal assistant (care) managers, 4) parents/intimate partners, 5) sexuality, and 6) potential victims of a crime or abuse wishing to report the crime to police or in court.
- Through ACETS Online, apply lessons learned implementing an electronic format program beyond geographical boundaries to finding employment by individuals with significant physical and communication disabilities. The training includes development of employment-related goals, increasing job skills, social networking online, ongoing participation through the use of listserv, email, online "chatting" and teleconferencing programs. Ongoing feedback will be provided regarding completion of participant goals, problem solving to eliminate barriers, locating resources, facilitating team building, and ensuring follow-up assistance takes place.
- To disseminate the work of the RERC to members of the AAC user community through ACOLUG, the international listserv of people who rely on AAC and their allies.
- To monitor and influence technical and standards compatibility of cell phones.
- To support the AAC commercial manufacturers' efforts through work on policy issues and design specifications that will enhance web accessibility.
To learn more about the RERC on Communication Enhancement, visit its website at http://aac-rerc.psu.edu/
The RERC on Communication Enhancement is a national project funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) of the U.S. Department of Education.