Foreign entities are not eligible to compete for, or receive, awards made under this announcement.
NIDILRR’s mission is to generate new knowledge and promote its effective use to maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities of all ages. NIDILRR supports research toward, development of, and transfer of technology products to promote positive outcomes of people with disabilities (NIDILRR Long Range Plan, 2018-2023).
Assistive technologies address the varied needs of people with disabilities by augmenting, compensating for the loss of, or restoring function to improve performance. NIDILRR seeks research and development toward assistive technology applications and devices that address significant barriers to community living encountered by people with physical, sensory, psychiatric, or intellectual and developmental disabilities. Such technology products may include advanced human computer interfaces that let humans interact with computers in novel ways (Mathew et al., 2011), automation and/or robotic technologies that can perform activities with minimal human assistance (Goldberg, 2012), technologies that allow household members to control appliances, settings, and other aspects of their home environment (Matlabi et al., 2011), and recreational technologies which increase access to and participation in recreational activities and environments by people with disabilities (Rimmer, et al., 2017). NIDILRR also seeks research and development toward assistive technology applications and devices that address pressing health service delivery topics that are relevant to the lives of people with disabilities, such as pain management (Ghoseiri et al., 2018), telerehabilitation, or coordination and provision of home and community based services (Bendixen et al., 2007).
NIDILRR aims to sponsor research and development activities toward technologies that support community living and independent living of people with disabilities – particularly people who are aging with disabilities. With these DRRP grants, NIDILRR has a particular interest in funding research and development toward technologies that support people with disabilities in rural, frontier, or tribal communities.References:
Bendixen, R. M., Horn, K., & Levy, C. (2007). Using telerehabilitation to support elders with chronic illness in their homes. Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation, 23(1), 47-51.
Ghoseiri, K., Allami, M., Soroush, M. R., & Rastkhadiv, M. Y. (2018). Assistive technologies for pain management in people with amputation: a literature review. Military Medical Research, 5(1), 1.
Goldberg, K. (2012). What Is Automation?. Automation Science and Engineering. 1-2.
Matlabi, H., Parker, S.G. & McKee, K. (2011). The contribution of home-based technology to older people's quality of life in extra care housing. BMC Geriatrics; 11: 68.
Mathew, A.R., Al Hajj, A. & Al Abri, A. (2011). Human-Computer Interaction (HCI): An overview, 2011 IEEE International Conference on Computer Science and Automation Engineering. pp. 99-100.
NIDILRR Long-Range Plan. (2018). Retrieved from: https://acl.gov/sites/default/files/about-acl/2019-01/NIDILRR%20LRP-201…
Rimmer, J.H., Padalabalanarayanan, S., Malone, L.A., & Mehta, T. (2017). Fitness facilities still lack accessibility for people with disabilities. Disability and Health Journal, 10(2), 214 – 221.Priority-- DRRP on Assistive Technology to Promote Independence and Community Living:
The Administrator of the Administration for Community Living (ACL) establishes a priority for Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP) on assistive technology to promote independence and community living. Under this DRRP priority, applicants must propose research and development activities that are aimed at maintaining or improving the independence, community living, and quality of life outcomes of people with disabilities--with a particular emphasis on people who are aging with disabilities--through assistive technology. NIDILRR has a particular interest in funding research and development toward technologies that support people with disabilities in rural, frontier, or tribal communities. The DRRP must conduct research and development activities toward technologies that are for direct use by people with disabilities.
In carrying out research activities under this program, an applicant must identify one or more hypotheses or research questions and, based on the hypotheses or research questions identified, perform an intensive, systematic study directed toward producing (1) new or full scientific knowledge or (2) understanding of the subject or problem studied.
In carrying out development activities under this program, an applicant must use knowledge and understanding gained from research to create materials, devices, systems, or methods beneficial to the target population, including design and development of prototypes and processes.Assistive technology research and development topics under this priority may include but are not limited to: human-computer interfaces; automation and/or robotics technologies; home-based technologies; recreational technologies; health service delivery technologies for direct use by people with disabilities; and mobility, cognitive, sensory, and communication aids. Applicants under this priority are required to specify in their proposal the following:
1. The target population or populations of people with disabilities.
2. The methods or approaches used to gather input from the target population of people with disabilities and other key stakeholders -- to shape the proposed research and development activities. Other key stakeholders may include but are not limited to family members of people with disabilities, service providers, and State Assistive Technology Act Programs.
3. The methodological details of the research and development activities to be conducted.
4. How the research and development activities will contribute to assistive technologies that are used by people with disabilities to maintain or improve independence, community living, and quality of life outcomes.
5. How they will disseminate research results and promote the use of research results and technology products that are generated by the DRRP. In addition, the DRRP must:
Specify and justify the stage or stages of research projects that they are proposing. If the applicant proposes to conduct research that can be categorized under more than one stage, including research that progresses from one stage to another, those stages must be clearly specified. These stages, exploration and discovery, intervention development, intervention efficacy, and scale-up evaluation, are defined in this section of the funding opportunity announcement.
Specify and justify the stage or stages of development projects that they are proposing. If the applicant proposes to conduct development that can be categorized under more than one stage, including development activities that progress from one stage to another, those stages must be clearly specified. These stages, proof of concept, proof of product, and proof of adoption, are defined in this section of the funding opportunity announcement.
Definitions - Stages of Research:
Exploration and discovery means the stage of research that generates hypotheses or theories through new and refined analyses of data, producing observational findings and creating other sources of research-based information. This research stage may include identifying or describing the barriers to and facilitators of improved outcomes of individuals with disabilities, as well as identifying or describing existing practices, programs, or policies that are associated with important aspects of the lives of individuals with disabilities. Results achieved under this stage of research may inform the development of interventions or lead to evaluations of interventions or policies. The results of the exploration and discovery stage of research may also be used to inform decisions or priorities.
Intervention development means the stage of research that focuses on generating and testing interventions that have the potential to improve outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Intervention development involves determining the active components of possible interventions, developing measures that would be required to illustrate outcomes, specifying target populations, conducting field tests, and assessing the feasibility of conducting a well-designed intervention study. Results from this stage of research may be used to inform the design of a study to test the efficacy of an intervention.
Intervention efficacy means the stage of research during which a project evaluates and tests whether an intervention is feasible, practical, and has the potential to yield positive outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Efficacy research may assess the strength of the relationships between an intervention and outcomes, and may identify factors or individual characteristics that affect the relationship between the intervention and outcomes. Efficacy research can inform decisions about whether there is sufficient evidence to support “scaling-up” an intervention to other sites and contexts. This stage of research may include assessing the training needed for wide-scale implementation of the intervention and approaches to evaluation of the intervention in real-world applications.
Scale-up evaluation means the stage of research during which a project analyzes whether an intervention is effective in producing improved outcomes for individuals with disabilities when implemented in a real-world setting. During this stage of research, a project tests the outcomes of an evidence-based intervention in different settings. The project examines the challenges to successful replication of the intervention and the circumstances and activities that contribute to successful adoption of the intervention in real-world settings. This stage of research may also include well-designed studies of an intervention that has been widely adopted in practice, but lacks a sufficient evidence base to demonstrate its effectiveness.
Definitions - Stages of Development:
Proof of concept means the stage of development where key technical challenges are resolved. Stage activities may include recruiting study participants; verifying product requirements; and implementing and testing (typically in controlled contexts) key concepts, components, or systems; and resolving technical challenges. A technology transfer plan is typically developed and transfer partner(s) identified, and plan implementation may have started. Stage results establish that a product concept is feasible.Proof of product means the stage of development where a fully-integrated and working prototype meeting critical technical requirements is created. Stage activities may include recruiting study participants, implementing and iteratively refining the prototype, testing the prototype in natural or less-controlled contexts, and verifying that all technical requirements are met. A technology transfer plan is typically ongoing in collaboration with the transfer partner(s). Stage results establish that a product embodiment is realizable.
Proof of adoption means the stage of development where a product is substantially adopted by its target population and used for its intended purpose. Stage activities typically include completing product refinements and continued implementation of the technology transfer plan in collaboration with the transfer partner(s). Other activities include measuring users' awareness of the product; opinion of the product; decisions to adopt, use, and retain products; and identifying barriers and facilitators impacting product adoption. Stage results establish that a product is beneficial.