NIDRR' s Core Areas of Research
Description of programs and projects from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR).

NIDRR's research focus includes such areas as:

NIDRR also employs a number of management strategies in support of its agenda.

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Employment Outcomes

NIDRR seeks to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities by funding research into the wide spectrum of employment and disability issues, including economics; federal, state, and community employment programs; accommodation; technology; education; and ergonomics and the work environment.

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Health and Function

NIDRR's research focus for health and function addresses challenges to individual care, services and supports for people with disabilities. Research topics include: medical rehabilitation; health and wellness programs; service delivery; short- and long-term interventions; systems research; and new and emerging disabilities.

For more information about Health and Function Research and projects funded in this area by NIDRR:

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Technology for Access and Function

Research investigating biomedical engineering and assistive technology has produced results that have helped people with disabilities to achieve and maintain maximum physical function, to live in their own homes, to attain gainful employment, and to participate in and contribute to society. NIDRR's research addresses a broad range of technology, including systems of public technology such as telecommunications and the built environment, and orphan technology for individuals. The NIDRR technology research program also encourages universal design practices.

For more information about Technology for Access and Function Research and projects funded in this area by NIDRR:

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Independent Living and Community Integration

Independent living recognizes that each person has the right to independence and maximum control over his or her life, based on an ability and opportunity to make choices in performing everyday activities. These activities include: managing one's personal life; participating in community life; fulfilling social roles, such as marriage, parenthood, employment, and citizenship; sustaining self-determination; and minimizing physical or psychological dependence on others. Community integration incorporates ideas of both place and participation, so that a person is physically located in a community setting, and participates in community activities. Issues of consumer direction and control also are integral to concepts of community integration. The goals of NIDRR's research program are to encourage independent living and community integration, to achieve more successful outcomes for people with disabilities, and to foster the development of innovative methods to achieve these outcomes and to measure achievement.

For more information about Independent Living and Community Integration and Projects funded in this area by NIDRR:

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Associated Disability Research Areas

Related disability research emphasizes knowledge areas that are crosscutting and essential to the support and refinement of disability research generally. The common theme linking disability statistics, outcome measures, Disability Studies, rehabilitation science, and international activities, is that they all provide essential frameworks and building blocks that enable the disability research enterprise to thrive and to address important issues in meaningful ways.

For more information about Associated Disability Research Areas and Projects funded in this area by NIDRR:

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Knowledge Dissemination and Utilization

The dissemination and utilization of research helps to ensure that people with disabilities become fully integrated and participating members of society. NIDRR's dissemination and utilization efforts ensure the widespread distribution, in usable formats, of practical scientific and technological information generated by research, demonstration, and related activities. NIDRR's challenge is to reach diverse and changing populations; to present research results in many different and accessible formats; and to use technology appropriately.

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Capacity Building for Rehabilitation Research and Training

To ensure that research improves the lives of individuals with disabilities, NIDRR will support efforts to enhance the capacity of the field to conduct research that is scientifically excellent and relevant to the concerns of disabled individuals, service providers, and the science community. Capacity-building involves training those who participate in all aspects of the disability research field, including scientists, service providers, and consumers.

NIDRR funding for capacity building supports advanced instruction for researchers and service providers, and training for consumers in applications of new research and technology. This involves training researchers across disciplines to train rehabilitation practitioners and service providers to use research-generated knowledge and new techniques and to train consumers to participate in research efforts.

For more information about capacity building for rehabilitation research and training and projects funded in this area by NIDRR:

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Strategies for Research Management

NIDRR will employ a number of management strategies in support of its five-year agenda. Among these are emphasis on Centers of Excellence; enhanced coordination of federal disability research; improved program evaluation and performance review; enhanced peer review process; increased collaboration, including interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary research; creative funding mechanisms; innovative strategies to manage intellectual property; expanded use of information technology; the reallocation of resources; and continuous participatory planning.

For more information about Strategies for Research Management at NIDRR:

For more information, visit: National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research (NCDDR)

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Last Modified: 06/20/2006