Answered Questions: Monthly News for the Disability Community for March 2018

Answered Questions is a monthly resource for the Spanish language Disability Community that fills an information need. This month’s question is: How does rehabilitation engineering affect the lives of people with disabilities? This edition of Answered Questions includes items that discuss inclusive wireless technologies; technology and universal design to support independent multi-modal travel in daily life; televideo technology and adults aging with mobility disabilities; technology developed to deliver movement training in acute stroke; emerging prosthetic technologies from an engineering perspective; and experiences of adults with cerebral palsy who use augmentative and alternative communication and social media. More about Answered Questions.

NIDILRR-Funded Projects:

The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Inclusive Technologies (Wireless RERC) (English) (90RE5025) creates and promotes inclusive wireless technologies that improve the ability of people with disabilities to perform activities of their choice independently; and works with stakeholders to raise awareness and champion adoption of accessible solutions for wirelessly connected technologies. The outcomes of the Wireless RERC include consumers with disabilities directly contributing to the development of wireless devices and services; increasing the social connectedness of people with disabilities across varied environments; incorporating universal design elements to guide cultural and social design of wirelessly-connected devices; and more.

The Rehabilitation Engineering Center on Physical Access and Transportation (RERC-APT)  (English) (90RE5011) empowers consumers, manufacturers, and services providers in the design and evaluation of accessible transportation equipment, information services, and physical environments. The activities of the researchers at RERC-APT build upon previous work to focus on enabling technology and universal design to support independent multi-modal travel in daily life, including its role in employment and social participation.

From the NARIC Collection:

Health and Wellness:

The article, Acceptance of televideo technology by adults with a mobility impairment for health and wellness interventions (English) (J75785) from the researchers at the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technologies to Support Successful Aging with Disabilities (RERC TechSAge) (English) (90RE5016), describes a study that explored acceptance of televideo technology by adults aging with mobility disabilities. The study found that participants were open to accepting televideo technology for social engagement, healthcare provider access, and physical activity. However, they shared concerns about the lack of security and privacy in the televideo technologies, about their difficulty of use, and that they are difficult to learn.


The article, Extrapolation of emerging technologies and their long-term implications for myoelectric versus body-powered prostheses: An engineering perspective (English) (J77408), describes current and emerging innovation in upper-limb prosthetic rehabilitation from an engineering perspective. It also discusses how new technologies will promote embodiment of the prosthesis, which will allow users to believe the device is a true extension of themselves.


The article, Developing a wearable ankle rehabilitation robotic device for in-bed acute stroke rehabilitation (English) (J76517), describes technology developed by researchers at the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technologies for Children with Orthopedic Disabilities (English) (90RE5006) to deliver intensive passive and active movement training in acute stroke using a wearable ankle robotic device that can be used in bed. Clinical testing of the wearable robotic device indicated that the early in-bed rehabilitation could facilitate neuroplasticity and helped improve motor control ability.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication:

The article, “Social media has opened a world of ‘open communication:’” Experiences of adults with cerebral palsy who use augmentative and alternative communication and social media (English) (J71684) from researchers at the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (The RERC on AAC) (English) (90RE5017), discusses a study that used an online focus group to investigate the experiences of 9 people with cerebral palsy who utilize augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and social media. The study found that participants chose to focus on social media as a beneficial tool and viewed it as an important form of communication. However, they also describe various barriers to social media use.


  • What is rehabilitation engineering? (US) is a factsheet from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) that defines rehabilitation engineering, discusses what assistive technology has been developed through rehabilitation engineering research, discusses how future investigations into rehabilitation engineering can improve the quality of life of people with disabilities, and gives examples of what researchers at NIBIB are developing in the area of rehabilitation engineering.

Further Research:

About Answered Questions

Each month, we look through the searches on our blog and through the information requests made by our patrons who speak Spanish and pick a topic that fills the largest need. Each resource mentioned below is associated with this month’s information need. We search the various Spanish language news sources and feeds throughout the month to bring you these articles. With the exception of the NIDILRR Projects and Further Investigation, all the linked articles and resources are in Spanish – any that are in English will be clearly marked.

About mpgarcia

I'm the Bilingual Information/Media Specialist at NARIC.
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