REKNEW: Reclaiming Expressive Knowledge in Elders with Communication Disorders


We're researching innovative ways to support individuals with communication impairments through assistive technology.

Announcing the RERC on AAC

Dr. Melanie Fried-Oken is pleased to announce the establishment of the RERC on AAC, a Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Augmentative and Alternative Communication. 

The RERC on AAC is a collaborative assistive technology center that includes the Pennsylvania State University, Oregon Health & Science University, Invotek, Inc., and Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital. Dr. Melanie Fried-Oken will lead the OHSU team during this five-year, multi-site, 5 million dollar grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The RERC on AAC supports research, development, training, and dissemination activities. OHSU will contribute to the research and development of brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies, applications for co-construction of messages by people who use speech-generating devices (SGDs), and an examination of the cognitive demands of SGDs. We will also participate in the training and dissemination goals of the RERC on AAC. 

REKNEW Projects are researching ways that Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) can support adults with degenerative neurological disease as they experience complex communication impairments. REKNEW Projects are conducted in collaboration with various community partners as well as the following organizations:

REKNEW Projects have reached out to several populations, including adults with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA), Locked-In Syndrome (LIS), Dysarthria, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). We have also looked at the outcomes of training caregivers in Alzheimer’s Care Units to use communication systems with their residents.

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