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Universities to Study Wheelchair Transportation Safety

Published Dec 27th 2006, 4:50pm by Jody DeVere in Featured Articles

Ad_donate_2 The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) and three other university partners have been awarded a $4.5 million five-year federal grant to continue research on transportation safety and usability for people in wheelchairs.

The U.S. Department of Education’s National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research has renewed funding of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Wheelchair Transportation Safety (RERC WTS), a partnership headed by UMTRI that also includes the universities of Pittsburgh, Louisville and Colorado.

The partnership was originally formed in 2001 to advance the safety, usability and independence of the large proportion of 1.7 million wheelchair users who remain in their wheelchairs when traveling in motor vehicles.

The partnership of universities will conduct research and development in six project areas, ranging from developing solutions for forward-facing and rear-facing wheelchair passenger stations in large accessible transit vehicles, to investigating issues of school bus transportation for children in wheelchairs, to improving frontal- and rear-crash protection for wheelchair occupants in private vehicles. The RERC WTS will disseminate information, train future researchers, transfer technology concepts to manufacturers, and develop and revise voluntary industry standards.

For more information, contact Bernie DeGroat, 734-936-1015 or 734-647-1847,

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