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Assistive Technology Transfer Update


Title: Strategic goal 5: dissemination
Author: Douglas J Usiak
Published: 2000
Publication: Assistive Technology Transfer Update: Vol. 2 Issue 1 (Spring) Annual Report, 1998-1999


The dissemination of information to inventors, researchers, clinicians, manufacturers, consumers with disabilities and other end users as well as to potential product commercialization partners is important for the success of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technology Transfer (T2RERC) in achieving their many goals. The following article specifically states instances of dissemination in various magazines as well as at conferences and presentations in accordance with goal 5.

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Document technology transfer program models, protocols and outcomes and disseminate to all stakeholders through appropriate forums and in accessible media. Project Leader - Douglas Usiak


To be a resource for stakeholders, we need to create mechanisms that make our research processes and findings accessible to our constituents with and without disabilities. We disseminate our information to all stakeholder groups (inventors, researchers, clinicians, manufacturers, consumers with disabilities and other end-users), to ensure they are informed about the work of the T2RERC. We also inform potential product commercialization partners about how our involvement helps develop products that meet the functional needs of their customers.


Internal Outreach - During our first year of operations, the T2RERC staff reviewed all our fellow RERCs' Internet web-sites and then redesigned the T2RERC's own web-site to offer material in areas of mutual interest. Visitors to "http://wings.buffalo.edu/ot/cat/" can: browse through updates of the work of the RERC; learn about the staffers who are carrying out our activities; and also examine resources and find direction which may assist them in their own efforts in technology transfer. The T2RERC also began publishing its newsletter, Assistive Technology Transfer Update. Its circulation of over 2,000 includes both Houses of Congress, Federal Laboratories, Tech Act Centers, RERCs, Independent Living Centers, and consumer organizations.

External Media Coverage - The T2RERC has been fortunate to have its work highlighted in national media features, including the November 1998 issue of the American Occupational Therapy Association's magazine OT Practice; in the Federal Laboratory Consortium's FLC NewsLink (Fall 1998 and Fall 1999 issues), and in the Business and Aging Networker Newsletter Rehab Report. The feature article, "Successful Stories Highlight Products" was published in Inventor's Digest. The local media also covered our work, including articles in the Fall 1998 issue of UB Today magazine, and stories in the Buffalo News, Business First of Buffalo, and the University of Buffalo Reporter.

As they expanded our reach to end-users with disabilities, we are pleased to report that an article "Impaired Consumers Evaluate Helpful Devices" was printed in the Autumn 1998 issue of Eyes Only, the national consumer newsletter of the Association for Macular Diseases. Also, stories about the Stakeholders Forum on Wheeled Mobility appeared in the July and August 1999 issues of Paraplegia News published by the Paralyzed Veterans of America; and in the Summer 1999 edition of Newswheels published by the Paralysis Society of America

Papers, Conference Presentations & Workshops - Our project staff published and made presentations at a wide range of conference venues, to ensure we were reaching the stakeholder groups.

"Consumer contributions to technology evaluation and transfer" was published in Technology & Disability, in December 1998. "Understanding technology transfer" was published in Assistive Technology, in December 1999.

RERC staff participated/presented at the MedTrade '98 and the Technology 2009/SBIR Conference, both in October 1998; at the American Society on Aging Conference, and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)'s Inventor's Exposition, both in March 1999; at the Federal Laboratory Consortium's national conference in April '99, and at the Futures Show in Las Vegas, May '99.

At RESNA '99, T2RERC staff presented two papers published in the conference proceedings: "Critical Factors for Evaluating and Commercializing Inventions" and "Overview of RERC on Technology Transfer (1998 to 2003)". We also conducted two workshops at RESNA: "Commercialization Case Study - the Reversible Toilet Transfer Product", and "Unlocking Assistive Technology Through Commercialization."

Our staff also presented and published papers in the proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Conference in Houston, "Assistive Technology, Technology Transfer and Human Factors," and at the Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe (AAATE) in Dusseldorf "A Model of Technology Transfer and Industrial Competitiveness," both in October, 1999.

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