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Research and Development

The primary research arm at ACL is the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), which has a mission to generate new knowledge and promote its effective use to improve the abilities of people with disabilities to perform activities of their choice in the community; and to expand society's capacity to provide full opportunities and accommodations for citizens with disabilities. 

NIDILRR is developing a new long-range plan for the period 2018-2023. View the draft long-range plan.

Learn more about the variety of programs, research summaries, performance and evaluation of research, and data collection projects:

  • Disability and Rehabilitation Research Program (DRRP) - This program funds knowledge translation, building capacity for minority research entities, individual research projects, and other work.
  • Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center Program (RERC) - This program funds advanced engineering research and development of innovative technologies to solve rehabilitation problems or remove environmental barriers for people with disabilities.
  • Switzer Research Fellowship Program - This program provides grants for individuals to perform research on rehabilitation, independent living, and other experiences of people with disabilities.
  • Field-Initiated Projects Program Rehabilitation Research (FIP) - This program is investigator-initiated research with projects to generate new knowledge. 
  • Model Systems Program - These programs provide coordinated systems of rehabilitation care and conduct research on recovery and long-term outcomes for spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and burn injury. 
  • Advanced Rehabilitation Research and Training Program (ARRT) - This program increases capacity for high-quality disability and rehabilitation research by supporting grants to institutions to provide advanced research training to individuals with doctorates or similar advanced degrees. 
  • Rehabilitation Research and Training Center Program (RRTC) - These programs conduct advanced research, training, and information sharing on topic areas for improving rehabilitation methodology and service delivery systems; improving health and function; and promoting employment, independent living, family support and economic and social self-sufficiency for people with disabilities.
  • Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) - This program supports development of new ideas and projects useful to people with disabilities through grants to small business firms with strong research capabilities in science, engineering, or educational technology.
  • NIDILRR Annual Report - View annual reports summarizing these programs and research achievements. 
  • NIDILRR External Evaluation - Learn about an external evaluation of NIDILRR and its grantees.
  • NIDILRR Performance and Evaluation - Learn about NIDILRR performance measures, tracking grantee progress, and annual reporting. 
  • Data Collection Projects - ACL collects data about the communities we serve and measuring impact, including the National Ombudsman Reporting System, National Adult Maltreatment Reporting System, and AGing Integrated Database.
  • University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) - UCEDDs serve as liaisons between academia and the broader community. They are a nationwide network of independent but interlinked centers, representing an expansive national resource for addressing issues, finding solutions, and advancing research related to the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. 

Last modified on 05/18/2017


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