The U.S. Department of Education today announced a $950,000 grant to the University of Alabama at Birmingham for the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Recreational Technologies and Exercise Physiology Benefiting Persons with Disabilities (RERC RecTech). This center will conduct an advanced engineering research and development program to address the high rates of physical inactivity for youth and adults with disabilities.
RERC RecTech includes a coordinated set of research, development, capacity building and knowledge translation/dissemination projects focused on promoting healthier, more active lifestyles for people with disabilities.
"Exercise makes for happier, healthier, more attentive and more productive people," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "The research in this area will help individuals with disabilities become more physically active, contributing to better health and overall well-being."
Key areas of focus for the center include:
- Improving access to recreation and exercise venues and equipment;
- Increasing opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in beneficial exercise;
- Using technology to support greater adherence to regular exercise; and
- Promoting regular exercise and active lifestyles for people with disabilities as a way to improve health and function.
The grant is being awarded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services through the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR).