Rehabilitation engineering is the systematic application of engineering sciences to design, develop, adapt, test, evaluate, apply, and distribute technological solutions to problems confronted by individuals with disabilities. Functional areas addressed through rehabilitation engineering may include mobility, communications, hearing, vision, and cognition, and activities associated with employment, independent living, education, and integration into the community. [http://rehabengineer.homestead.com/] 111
While some rehabilitation engineers have master’s degrees in rehabilitation engineering, usually a subspecialty of biomedical engineering, most rehabilitation engineers have
undergraduateor graduate degrees in biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, or electrical engineering. A Portuguese university provides an undergraduate degree in Accessibility and Rehabilitation Engineering [http://www.utad.pt/pt/ensino_formacao/1ciclo/acent/engenharia_reabilitacao/index.html] .
The rehabilitation process for
people with disabilitiesoften entails the design of assistive devices intended to promote inclusion of their users into the mainstream of society, commerce, and recreation. Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America, whose mission is to "improve the potential of people with disabilities to achieve their goals through the use of technology", is the main professional society for rehabilitation engineers.
Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers conduct research in the rehabilitation engineering, each focusing on one general area or aspect of disability. [http://www.ed.gov/programs/rerc/index.html] For example, the
Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Instituteconducts research for the blind and visually impaired. [http://www.ski.org/Rehab/index.html] Many of the Veterans AdministrationRehabilitation Research & Development Centers conduct rehabilitation engineering research. [http://www.vard.org/cent/centers.htm]
* [http://www.blind.net/bg320001.htm Rehabilitation Act of 1973]
* [http://www.utad.pt/pt/ensino_formacao/1ciclo/acent/engenharia_reabilitacao/index.html Licenciatura em Engenharia de Reabilitação e Acessibilidade Humanas]
* [http://www.rehabengineer.com/ RehabEngineer]
* [http://www.resna.org/ RESNA]
* [http://www.naric.com/research/pd/results.cfm?type=type&display=detailed&criteria=Rehabilitation%20Engineering%20Research%20Centers%20(RERCs) RERCs currently funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)]
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