Our faculty and staff engage in cutting edge research designed to improve the lives of those with disabilities and special health conditions through new discovery. This is accomplished through specific centers emphasizing scholarly pursuits and research teams focused on specific areas.

Research centers within the institute

Center for Spoken Language Understanding

The research within The Center for Spoken Language Understanding addresses both basic and applied research in speech and language processing. Our applied research includes significant efforts in biomedical research areas such as computational biology and the nascent field of neurobehavioral engineering, which encompasses topics as diverse as augmentative and alternative communication and the discovery of new behavioral "markers" of neurological disorders such as autism and early-phase Alzheimer's disease.

University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities

The University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities has a 40 year history at OHSU, developing and leading disability research and outreach efforts to improve the lives of people with disabilities and their families. Our center provides infrastructure support for scholarly pursuits, as well has includes faculty and staff engaged in specific sponsored projects.

Sponsored projects and research teams

In addition to specific research-oriented centers within the IDD, we have many teams with extensive and ongoing funded research programs.

REKNEW Projects research ways Augmentative and Alternative Communication can support adults with degenerative neurological disease as they experience complex communication impairments.

Design to Learn Projects focus on research and strategies developed to address the educational needs of children and adults with severe disabilities, such as multiple and "low-incidence" disabilities including deafblindness and autism.

Pediatric pain projects focus on improving the lives of children and parents who are dealing with chronic pain, and preventing chronic pain through innovative research and clinical applications.

Other examples of current funded research include but is not limited to:

  • Oregon Spina Bifida Registry Process: project funded by the CDC to better understand interventions and outcomes of care for individuals with spina bifida
  • Urologic Protocol for Preservation of Renal Function: project funded by the CDC to test a standardized practice for early management of neurogenic bladder dysfunction
  • Assessing Parents’ Priorities for Behavioral Information Technology: project funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to determine effective methods of disseminating effective behavioral health information in pediatric primary care.