Photo of Dr. Melanie Fried-Oken who is director of REKNEW Projects. WELCOME FROM OUR DIRECTOR

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


To learn more about our funders, who we work with, our technologies and our upcoming events, please click the blue links to below.

Who Funds Our Work

National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research logoAdministration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities logo

 National Institutes of Health logo

Who We Work With

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.


Our Technologies

Brain-computer interface logoBrain-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


blahSmart 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

Upcoming Events

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) 2018 Convention

Boston, Massachusetts, November 15-17, 2018

Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) 2019 Convention

Caribe Royale Hotel and Convention Center – Orlando, Florida, January 30 – February 2, 2019



Aimee Mooney Presents Webinar for the United States Society for AAC (USSAAC)

photo of Aimee MooneyCommunication supports, referred to as AAC, are integral to medical speech-language pathology. This Webinar entitled "Application of Systematic Instruction principles for training use of AAC in adults", discusses effective instructional methods for training use of AAC. Participants will learn to identify personal, program and program characteristics that support successful learning, acceptance and integration of AAC. The elements of Systematic Instruction and stages of learning (in the context of communication rehabilitation) are defined and applied clinically. Finally, an instructional package for immediate application to clinical practice is shared. Access the webinar

REKNEW Team Members Present at 2018 RERC State of the Science Conference

The RERC on AAC held its State of the Science Conference on June 13, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Arlington, VA. More than 80 professionals, people who rely on AAC, families, government representatives, manufacturers, technology company representatives, researchers and clinicians gathered for a day of learning together. Melanie Fried-Oken presented our work for the OHSU team. Seven people with complex communication needs or their family members presented short videos about their experiences, opinions, and recommendations for the AAC field. Greg Bieker, our BCI research team member was one of the video presenters. His contribution can be viewed below. View the conference agenda.

photo of RERC on AAC partners

Above: RERC on AAC partners at State of the Science conference. From left to right: Erik Jakobs (InvoTek);David Beukelman (Madonna Hospital);Susan Fager (Madonna Hospital);Tom Jakobs (InvoTek);Janice Light (Penn State);Melanie Fried-Oken (OHSU);David McNaughton (Penn State).