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.
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
The Consortium for Accessible Multi-Modal Brain Interfaces (CAMBI) team met for a 2-day retreat in Portland, at OHSU in October 2022. This meeting was our first in-person encounter since 2019. We discussed and celebrated past accomplishments, we planned goals, activities and collaborations for the 2022-2023 grant year, and we became re-acquainted with our engagements, commitments and passions. Our work can be viewed on this website at the BCI link, and at www.cambi.tech . Here is a picture of the team. From left to right, we are: Back row: Dr. Eran Klein, Matthew Lawhead, Dr. Deniz Erdogmus, Dr. Barry Oken, Dr. Keith Vertanen, Dylan Gaines, Dan Klee, Michelle Kinsella, Dr. Melanie Fried-Oken. Front row: Dr. Tales Imbiriba, Dr. Scott Spaulding, Basak Celik, Dr. Betts Peters, Tab Memmott, Angelina Bieker, Greg Bieker, Mark Cache.
Speak My Language! Using Visual Symbols for Supported Decision Making by People Who Use AAC
with Foundation award to the OHSU UCEDD Dr. Melanie Fried-Oken, PI
The OHSU UCEDD recently completed a project in partnership with Community Vision - Assistive Technology Lab to develop a symbol-based Patient Decision Aids for Supported Decision Making (PDAs for SDM) for adults with I/DD who use AAC with limited literacy skills. We conducted focus groups with AAC users about symbol and literacy needs for informed consent and chose Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as the first health topic for a PDA; 2) developed symbol-based PDAs for both Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and informed consent; 3) we validated the PDAs; 4) we evaluated their use with health care providers who treat individuals with carpal tunnel syndrome; and 5) we are in the process of disseminating the products.
Learn more about the symbol-based patient decision aids for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Informed consent
Please feel free to contact us regarding getting involved in our projects or supporting our work.
Watch our latest video below, where Betts Peters, Ph.D., C.C.C.-S.L.P., describes brain-computer technologies for communication.
Seeking people for our research studies
- Seeking people with primary progressive aphasia and their communication partners.
- For current study participant opportunities, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We always have something going on.