Information dissemination is a task undertaken by the Rehabilitation Engineering Rehabilitation Center on Technology Transfer (T2RERC) and applied to its programs of Supply-Push, Demand-Pull, Technical Assistance, and Strategic Partners. The Assistive Technology Transfer Update, the T2RERC website, conference presentations and workshops, press releases, and articles published in trade and technical journals are a few of the dissemination paths used by the T2RERC. In this article you will find examples of dissemination in the context of the four.
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Disseminating news of the activities of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technology Transfer (T2RERC) through various channels is vital to accomplishing the project's other strategic goals.
The Demand-Pull project needs to seek out appropriate potential stakeholders (inventors, researchers, clinicians, manufacturers, consumers with disabilities and other end-users) for its fact-finding Forums. ...And once their data is analyzed and the Problem Statements formulated, these facts need to be made available to anyone in the public or private sectors who could offer proposed solutions.
Individuals and firms with unexploited or orphan assistive devices need to learn that its Supply-Push Program is a ready-made avenue to the marketplace for equipment that is truly useful to end-users. Likewise, potential manufacturing partners need to learn about innovative devices that are available for licensing from T2RERC.
Maintaining wide-open avenues of communication can also play a role in offering Technical Assistance to other entities, and in recruiting possible Strategic Partners in order to accomplish its goals. The aforementioned avenues include:
The T2RERC continues to publish this newsletter, Assistive Technology Transfer Update, whose mailing list of over 1,800 boasts recipients in both Houses of Congress, AT manufacturers, Federal Laboratories, Tech Act Centers, other RERCs, Independent Living Centers, and end-users.
Other Media Coverage
We authored the lead article in the Fall 1999 issue of Assistive Technology titled "Understanding Technology Transfer". Other exposure for the T2RERC was achieved in: Advance for Providers of Post-Acute Care ("High Tech Home Care Have No Fear", November 1999); Federal Technology Report ("Labs' Help Sought to Improve Technologies for the Disabled", April 20, 2000); and Home Care Magazine ("From Think Tank to Real World. Wheelchair Researchers Push for Innovation in Mobility Technology", Spring 2000).
News releases publicizing the June 2000 Stakeholders Forum on Hearing Enhancement in New York City were sent to dozens of national media outlets, research partners and consumer and professional publications, including several specializing in issues for Hard-of-Hearing individuals. Thus far, this yielded FLC NewsLink's "Experts Converge to Improve Hearing Assistance Products", (April-May 2000).
Presentations and Workshops at
Our staff presented an educational workshop, "Unlocking Assistive Technology", at MedTrade Show (a medical equipment manufacturers' trade conference) in November 1999 in New Orleans, Louisiana; and presented products and/or attended and solicited inventor's submissions at the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Conference in March 2000. We also presented progress reports on our model and practice activities through peer-reviewed papers at: the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Conference in Houston (October, 1999); the Düsseldorf, Germany meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe (November, 1999); and the Technology Transfer Society's national conference in Austin, Texas (July 2000)
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