Learn more about each of the Wireless RERC's Partners:

The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)

NCIL is the longest-running national cross-disability, grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities. NCIL represents CILs and Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs) which serve a large number of people with disabilities throughout the United States. 

NCIL advances independent living and the rights of people with disabilities. NCIL envisions a world in which people with disabilities are valued equally and participate fully. 

NCIL is happy to serve as a dissemination partner and will assist with dissemination activities through their reach.

Visit the NCIL's website to learn more.

EasterSeals

For more than 100 years, Easterseals has served as an indispensable resource for individuals with disabilities, veterans, older adults and their families. EasterSeals has 68 affiliates in communities across the country and serve over 1.5 million people with disabilities through high-quality programs and support services.  

EasterSeals is happy to assist the Wireless RERC with the nationwide recruitment efforts for the R1 Voice of Stakeholders project.

Visit EasterSeals' website to learn more.

The Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF)

PATF is a statewide 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to provide education and financing opportunities, and advocacy for people with disabilities and older Pennsylvanians, helping them to acquire  assistive technology (AT) devices and services that improve the quality of their lives. PATF is Pennsylvania's Alternative Financing Program, as designated by the federal Assistive Technology Act. PATF is also a state accredited and federal certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). PATF has helped more than 4,400 Pennsylvanians with $45 million in loan extensions for the purchase of AT.  

The PATF will serve as a funding facilitator for this project.  

The PATF started the Smart Homes Made Simple project in 2017, a campaign designed to raise awareness about how people with disabilities can gain control over their environment and live safely and more independently in their own home using mainstream, off-the-shelf smart home technology. PATF has experience connecting people with disabilities to various funding resources that fund smart home devices and services. 

Visit PATF's website to learn more.

The UPMC Center for Assistive Technology (CAT)

The mission of CAT is to enhance the ability of people with disabilities to fulfill life goals through the coordination and provision of appropriate assistive technology services.  

The services of the CAT are very comprehensive and include, but are not limited to: wheelchairs, seating, hearing devices, computer access, driving aids, home/worksite modifications, ECUs, and AAC. The Center has grown each year of operation and currently provides service to 1500+ clients annually.  

In addition, the CAT provides most of the AT services for the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) for Western Pennsylvania, via a contract between the Commonwealth and the CAT. This relationship with the Commonwealth guarantees interaction with OVR and other state agencies involved in the rehabilitation and reintegration of people with disabilities into society. 

CAT is happy to assist with D1 Smart Home Service Delivery as one of the three different types of providers as well as with dissemination activities.

Visit the CAT's website to learn more.

The UPMC Low Vision Rehab Program

The UPMC Low Vision Rehab Program provides AT services to people who are blind or visually impaired.  

The Low Vision Rehab Program is happy to provide feedback on, assist in piloting on users, and use START (R3 Smart Speaker Training to train their clients on smart speaker use.

Visit the Low Vision Program's website to learn more.

AAC Institute

The AAC Institute provides AAC services and advocates for improved policies, legislation, and funding for AAC speakers. 

The AAC Institute will provide challenges clients and their families face with mainstream devices and their needs with the Wireless RERC, and assist with recruitment for the research and development projects.

Visit the AAC Institute's website to learn more.

Community Living and Support Services (CLASS)

CLASS has provided 70 years of services to people with varying disabilities in a seven-county area through a variety of community programs including running the State AT Act programs and services.

CLASS's ATP could provide feedback on, assist in piloting with users, and ultimately use START (R3 Smart Speaker Training) to train clients on smart speaker use. CLASS will also help with any recruitment and dissemination activities in especially to other regional Centers for Independent Living.

Visit CLASS' website to learn more.

Voices for Independence (VFI)

VFI is a Center for Independent Living (CIL) that receives grant funds from the ACL and serves people with disabilities in 27 counties of Western Pennsylvania. They have been a provider to Medicaid HCBS recipients in long-term care since 1995, and help transition over 100 clients annually from institutions into community through the nursing home transition program. 

VFI is a CIL that receives grant funds from the ACL and serves people with disabilities in 27 counties of Western Pennsylvania. They have been a provider to Medicaid HCBS recipients in long-term care since 1995, and help transition over 100 clients annually from institutions into community through the nursing home transition program. 

VFI is happy to partner with the Wireless RERC on D1 Smart Home Service Delivery as one of the three different types of providers. In addition to this development project, VFI is also happy to help with any recruitment and dissemination activities especially to other regional Centers for Independent Living.

Visit VFI's website to learn more.

The VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System’s AT Clinic

The Rehabilitation Department of the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System offers highly specialized and comprehensive AT services to Veterans with disabilities and associated functional limitations. Veterans are offered rehabilitation services including AT in person, in their own home environment, and/or via the VA’s secure VA Video Connect platform. 

The VA is eager to assist with the Wireless RERC on D1 Smart Home Service Delivery as one of the three different types of providers. The VA will also provide feedback on product performance to reflect their best practices and share lessons learned to help produce viable service models for smart home technologies to better support Veterans with disabilities. 

Visit VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System's AT Clinic's website to learn more.

The Pittsburgh Technology Council

As the largest and oldest regional technology trade association, the Pittsburgh Technology Council serves as the voice of the region, providing assistance and facilitation of support across the technology business ecosystem through business development, talent attraction, development and retention, community development & government relations and visibility services. The Pittsburgh Technology Council provides convening platforms and opportunities to strengthen the vitality of innovation and business development.

The Pittsburgh Technology Council will support D3 Inclusive Innovation project that develops and deploys a web portal that not only provides educational resources on accessibility and inclusive design, but also connects businesses and organizations to the Wireless RERC's network of potential test participants with varying disabilities who can assist with product design and evaluation.

Visit Pittsburgh Technology Council's website to learn more.

The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse

The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG) is the private/public partnership that provides business development, marketing, and regulatory support to facilitate the commercialization and growth of innovative life-sciences companies in the Pittsburgh area.

PLGS will assist with the web portal the Wireless RERC will be developing, which not only provides educational content to businesses regarding inclusive design and accessibility, but also connects them to people with disabilities and clinical professionals based on their needs. This portal will be especially beneficial to the small businesses that lack the resources and connections.

Visit Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse's website to learn more.

Health IT Pittsburgh

Health IT Pittsburgh is a PLSG cluster initiative committed to connecting healthcare and information technology, growing companies, and developing our workforce and creating jobs in western Pennsylvania.

Health IT Pittsburgh is interested in the web portal the Wireless RERC will be developing, which not only provides educational content to businesses regarding inclusive design and accessibility, but also connects them to people with disabilities and clinical professionals based on their needs. This portal will be especially beneficial to the small businesses that lack the resources and connections. Health IT Pittsburgh will help to promote the portal within our member companies.

Visit Health IT Pittsburgh's website to learn more.

Google

Google’s mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Locally, Google Pittsburgh cares deeply about making the community an inclusive and welcoming place for all users, employees and neighbors, including those with disabilities.

Google is interested in learning the barriers and facilitators to the uptake of mainstream wireless technologies in people with disabilities, and appreciates that the Wireless RERC is not only going to obtain such information directly from people with disabilities, but also from surveying the current funding and policy landscape, and the clinical and community providers who work closely with people with disabilities.

Google is also interested in the technology service models the Wireless RERC will be developing and evaluating that could potentially expand the technology access and support better technology utilization among people with disabilities.

Additionally, Google is happy to consider making their local philanthropic opportunities available to this project, through their Google Community Grants program, Google for Nonprofits and Employee Service Project opportunities. Google's Community Affairs team is dedicated to serving in an advisory capacity to the project, helping to connect the research group to any of the aforementioned resources as they are able.

Visit Google Pittsburgh's website to learn more.

IBM

IBM has a strong commitment to improving accessibility for differently-abled persons. IBM's Accessibility and Healthcare group has a long history of developing adaptive solutions for both on-line and real-world personal navigation.

IBM is interested in learning the barriers and facilitators to the uptake of mainstream wireless technologies in the disability and provider communities, especially factors affecting their technology awareness, literacy, and proficiency, as well as areas with unmet needs. The information would be helpful for developing machine learning and artificial intelligence that could potentially make technologies more adaptable and adaptive to different users’ needs and their changes over time.

3i Housing of Maine

3i Housing of Maine is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to create Independent community based living options for adults with disabilities through Innovative affordable housing and Integrated support services. 3i Housing of Maine is in the design phase of their initial project — a 50 unit apartment complex for adults with mobility impairments. They hope to begin construction in 2023 and open the doors in 2024. 3i Housing of Maine is partnering with the Wireless RERC to evaluate the needs of tenants and custom-design smart home technology as assistive technology in their apartments.

3i Housing of Maine's unique housing model will provide opportunities for socialization and peer support leading to an improved quality of life. This fully accessible residential building will be located near transportation, employment, shopping, and services. Mixed income residents will be able to live independently, while managing their own lives with the support of community services.

Visit 3i Housing of Maine's website to learn more.