Welcome from our director
The REKNEW research group addresses the complex communication needs of children and adult groups with developmental, acquired and/or neurodegenerative disabilities. We work on many different REKNEW projects, targeting different childhood and 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 and children.
~Dr. Melanie Fried-Oken
Who funds our work
Who we work with
REKNEW Projects are conducted in collaboration with various community partners as well as the following organizations:
- Layton Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Center
- OHSU NW Clinic for Voice & Swallowing
- Northwestern University’s Mesulam Center for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s disease
- Northeastern University (Cognitive Systems Laboratory)
- University of Washington School of Education's Haring Center
- Consortium for Accessible Multimodal Brain-Body Interfaces (CAMBI)
- Oken Cognitive Neuroscience Lab (ORCCAMIND)
- OHSU Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology (DMICE)
- OHSU University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD)
- Portland State University Speech and Hearing Sciences
- Portland State University Systems Science Graduate Program
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.
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.
The REKNEW Projects research lab is dedicated to helping children and adults with developmental disabilities find their own ways to communicate, using whatever method is best. We would like to share some AAC facts with you that form the foundation for our work. Thank you for your interest and support.
Watch our latest video below, where Betts Peters, M.A., C.C.C.-S.L.P., describes brain-computer technologies for communication.