Welcome from our director

This is an image of Dr. Melanie Fried-Oken, a smiling woman in her 60's with short dark hair and a red jacket.

The REKNEW research group addresses the complex communication needs of children and adults with developmental, acquired and/or neurodegenerative disabilities. We work on many different REKNEW projects, targeting different adult groups and communication supports. Our approach is based on a philosophy of Participatory Action Research: we believe that individuals with complex communication needs should be part of our research endeavors, from the initial questions posed in a study to the dissemination of research results.

We invite you to explore our website and examine our different clinical research projects. We would be happy to discuss our work with you, whether you are interested in participating in a study, supporting us, learning about our recent publications or knowledge translation activities, or just finding out more about communication supports for adults.

~Dr. Melanie Fried-Oken

Logos for National Institutes of Health, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research

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) 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.

Brain-computer interface systems

Our research seeks to develop an efficient and effective brain computer interface (BCI) system that will serve as a communication access method for individuals with locked-in syndrome. We strive to improve the accuracy and speed of the technology, as well as user satisfaction, for a system that can be used for functional written and spoken expression.

View more information about our BCI systems and how you can get involved in our studies

Smart Predict App for AAC Conversation

Our research seeks to develop a unique and practical Smart Prediction AAC system that exploits the physical skills, language skills, and shared world knowledge of a nondisabled co-constructor to support the AAC user. By examining message generation from a co-construction perspective, we are reimagining the concept of AAC conversation and the turn-taking paradigms that are standard in this rehabilitation field, and may offer the field of AAC an innovative and unique way to improve communication effectiveness in complex communication dyads.

View more information on our Smart Predict system and how you can get involved in our studies

Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America Annual Conference

Hyatt Regency Crystal City – Arlington, Virginia, July 11-15, 2018

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center State of Science Conference

Hyatt Regency Crystal City – Arlington, Virginia, July 13, 2018

Latest news

October is AAC Awareness Month

A preview image of a factsheet about Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).

The REKNEW Projects research lab is dedicated to helping children and adults find their own ways to communicate, using whatever method is best. As AAC researchers, we celebrate AAC Awareness Month. This is the time when we raise awareness about augmentative and alternative communication, and inform the public about the many different ways in which people communicate. We would like to share some AAC facts with you that form the foundation for our work. Thank you for your interest and support.

Download our Fact Sheet on AAC

Contact REKNEW

Please feel free to contact us regarding getting involved in our projects or supporting our work.


Melanie Fried-Oken, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Connect with REKNEW

Watch our latest video below. To view more videos about our work, please visit our YouTube channel.

Below, Betts Peters, M.A., C.C.C.-S.L.P.,  describes brain-computer technologies for communication.

Get involved

Seeking people with primary progressive aphasia and their communication partners

Seeking people with primary progressive aphasia and their communication partners

Download recruitment flyer