An Innovative Interdisciplinary Program: Rehabilitation Engineering Technology

By Miller, Darlene | Information Technology and Disabilities, April 1994 | Go to article overview

An Innovative Interdisciplinary Program: Rehabilitation Engineering Technology


Miller, Darlene, Information Technology and Disabilities


INTRODUCTION

Rehabilitation engineers and other rehabilitation professionals have long provided assistive technology to persons with disabilities (Galvin & McLaurin, 1991). An assistive technology device is "any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities" (Public Law 100-819). The use of such devices by persons with disabilities has provided important benefits that increase vocational and independent living opportunities for this population.

The number of individuals needing such services is growing. Over 43 million Americans are classified as disabled. In the last ten years, the number of persons with disabilities pursuing degrees on our nation's campuses has tripled (Rothstein, 1991). The need for assistive technology is ever increasing due to better medical treatment, greater advocacy and increasing independence of those that are physically and mentally challenged. This can be seen in the tremendous increase in the number of service delivery programs throughout the U.S. and an increase in the number of manufacturers of assistive devices.

REHABILITATION ENGINEERING AND THE ROLE OF THE TECHNICIAN

Rehabilitation engineering is the systematic application of scientific and engineering principles to address the needs of persons with disabilities (McQuistion, 1992; Childress, 1984). Rehabilitation engineering professionals play a vital role in the removal of barriers to employability and independent living opportunities among this population. Through the use of assistive technology, the employability, education, communication, daily functioning, and recreational activities of persons with disabilities are all enhanced.

A very important factor that must be addressed with regard to educational programs for rehabilitation engineering personnel on the rehabilitation team is recognition that a mix of rehabilitation engineers, technologists and technicians is required. The need for such a mix was recognized by the Rehabilitation Engineering Professional Specialty Group of RESNA, The Association for the Advancement of Assistive and Rehabilitative Technologies. Engineers are not the only professionals involved in the delivery of rehabilitation and assistive technology services. To adequately provide all of the rehabilitation engineering services necessary to enhance the employability, education, communication, daily functioning, and recreational activities of people with disabilities, an effective rehabilitation engineering team must include engineers, technologists, and technicians. Rehabilitation engineering technicians are the team members who fabricate and modify equipment based on the work of the engineer or engineering technologist (Dolan, 1992). They also work closely with the other members of the rehabilitation team: therapists, physicians, vocational rehabilitation counselors, and most importantly, consumers and their families.

New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) was the first institution of higher education in the country to develop programs to train technicians. NJIT's program consists of a 63 credit hour academic program leading to a certificate in Rehabilitation Engineering Technology. Vermont Technical College is the only institution in the nation to offer a program leading to a degree of Associate in Engineering in Rehabilitation Engineering Technology.

VERMONT TECHNICAL COLLEGE'S PROGRAM

To assist in the development of the curriculum for the associate's degree program, VTC established a Rehabilitation Engineering Technology Advisory Committee. Committee members chosen to represent professional members of the rehabilitation team, rehabilitation engineers and persons with disabilities who are themselves the users of assistive technology.

The committee worked closely with the faculty at VTC to develop the curriculum shown at the end of this article.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

An Innovative Interdisciplinary Program: Rehabilitation Engineering Technology
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.