Mobility disability is an umbrella term for a variety of physical disabilities that are defined by impediments, limitations, or characteristics that limit or prevent independent movement such as standing, walking, reaching, and balancing. Disabilities in this category may be congenital or the result of injury, aging, disease, or other reasons. These disabilities may include stroke, spinal cord injury (SCI), cerebral palsy (CP), arthritis, muscular dystrophy, or Rett syndrome, among many others. Some people with mobility disabilities may use mobility devices and other assistive technology (AT) for independence at home, at work, and in the community. These can include powered or manual wheelchairs, walkers, or crutches to support lower limb mobility, and reachers and grabbers to support upper limb mobility. Other people may not need devices; but they may need other supports or accommodations, such as extra time to get from place to place, accessible parking, or grab bars. Indoor and outdoor environments that are inclusive of people with mobility disabilities have features such as ramps for entrances, elevators or first floor amenities, accessible public spaces, and accessible workspaces, among others.
As part of its mission to support the full inclusion of people with disabilities in the community, NIDILRR funds research and development projects related to all aspects of mobility disabilities – from interventions to assistive technology to knowledge translation activities and more. There are over 90 currently-funded and completed projects related to mobility disabilities in the NIDILRR Program Database. These projects produce guides, articles, factsheets, and more for people with mobility disabilities, their families, service providers, and other interested stakeholders. Below are just a few recent examples:
- Articles related to mobility disabilities.
- Interventions for people with mobility disabilities.
- Accessibility for people with mobility disabilities.
- Assistive technology guides and factsheets.
NARIC’s Research In Focus series features reader-friendly summaries of the latest research from NIDILRR-funded projects. Below are just a few examples of articles in this series related to mobility disabilities:
- A Novel Music-Based Exercise Intervention May Help Improve Physical Functioning in Adults Post-Stroke.
- Caster Failures Could Lead to Frequent Wheelchair Breakdowns, but Preventative Maintenance May Help.
- Many People with SCI May Turn to Complementary and Integrative Healthcare to Manage Their Health and Wellness, but May Need More Information About These Options.
- Self-Paced Web-Based Transfer Training Shows Promise to Help Wheelchair Users Improve Transfer Techniques.
These are just a few examples of information and resources for people with mobility disabilities from the NIDILRR grantee community. To learn more about mobility disabilities or to receive the information and resources, contact NARIC’s information specialists via phone, chat, or email.