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Federal research agencies seek input
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July 22, 2003 -- Federal agencies concerned with disability research are seeking input from "consumers" to help them shape long range plans.

The Interagency Committee on Disability Research, authorized by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, is mandated "to promote coordination and cooperation among Federal departments and agencies conducting rehabilitation research programs." There are subcommittees on Disability Statistics (. David Keer, M.A); on Medical Rehabilitation (Michael Weinrich, M.D.); on the New Freedom Initiative (Michael Winter) on Technology (William Peterson) and on Technology Transfer (Mindy Aisen, M.D.).

The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research -- NIDRR -- which "generates, disseminates, and promotes use of knowledge that will improve the ability of individuals with disabilities to perform activities in the community, and increase the capacity of society to provide full opportunities and supports for participation" -- is collecting information in order to update its long-range plan via a form on its website. The agency is seeking input "from people with disabilities, interested family or friends, service providers [and] disability and rehabilitation researchers."

The web-based form gives visitors an opportunity to write in what they'd like to see done in terms of research, and asks them to note whether the research would concern

  • independent community living
  • disability demographics
  • health and function
  • technology or
  • employment

If the comment concerns another area entirely, a visitor can explain the area in detail.

The questionnaire also asks the visitor to tell them whether the comment addresses gaps in research, future directions and initiatives or current NIDRR research efforts and accomplishments

Those who cannot access the web-based form can send an email to or mail comments to: CESSI, Attn. Long-Range Plan, 6858 Old Dominion Drive Suite 250, McLean, VA 22101, or call (toll-free) 1-866-448-8380 .

Three national videoteleconferences have already been held to solicit input, and to date, says the ICDR, it has already received almost 600 responses.

More information on the ICDR is online at

Read NIDRR's current long-range plan at

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