The Center for Assistive Technology (CAT) was established within the School
of Health Related Professions in 1988. CAT conducts research, education and
service programs in assistive technology for persons with disabilities and
the elderly, in four related areas:
- Research, development, and commercialization of
advanced technologies and assistive devices. The
RERC on Technology Transfer works with inventors, companies,
research laboratories and government agencies in the U.S. and internationally,
to move new or improved technologies and products to the commercial marketplace.
Affiliations with industry associations, the Federal Laboratory Consortium
and the National Coalition on Independent Living, form the basis for future
collaborations with faculty within the School.
- Education Programs for professionals, students, and consumers. CAT staff
and affiliated faculty provide instruction on assistive technology devices
and services. As a beta-test site for multiple manufacturers, CAT has access
to products prior to their commercial introduction. Partnerships with companies
offer graduate students unique opportunities to apply their class work, establish
internships and develop relationships with potential future employers. CAT
offers continuing education programs, which helps professionals maintain their
educational links to the school and campus.
- Client Assessment & Training Services in
computer access for education and employment. CAT's multi-disciplinary Client
Service Team provides assistive technology assessment and training services
to people with disabilities
in the eight counties of Western New York. They also receive referrals from
other regions when the client's needs are exceedingly complex. The opportunities
for student training and clinical faculty involvement extend to community-based
service providers, client employers, the NYS Commission for the Blind and Visually
Impaired (CBVI), the NYS Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals
with Disabilities (VESID), and about fifty school districts within the region.
- Dissemination of information about assistive technology devices and services.
CAT operates the Western New York Region's Technology Related Assistance for
Individuals with Disabilities (TRAID) program, directed from the NYS Commission on Quality of Care and
Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities (CQCAPD). This dissemination program works in partnership
with the WNY Independent Living Center, thus providing a storefront interface
within the community. The Center for International Rehabilitation Research
and Information Exchange (CIRRIE) is the nation's single repository for information
on rehabilitation research around the world. CIRRIE also operates a scholar
exchange program that facilitates faculty connections to related international
Activities within these four areas are multidisciplinary, involving faculty
within the school and faculty from other Schools and Departments at UB (examples
include Architecture and Planning, Management, Nursing, Law, Communicative
Disorders and Sciences, Counseling and Educational Psychology, Mechanical/Electrical/Industrial
Engineering, Rehabilitation Medicine and Education).
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