Infinity Communication Access Lab Recognized With 2012 Product Utilization Support and Help (PUSH) Award
Figure 3c Extended Text Description [Select image to enlarge]
Figure 3d Extended Text Description [Select image to enlarge]
Figure 3. Examples of access technologies developed and deployed by the Infinity Communication Access Lab: (a) vocal fold vibration device, (b) infrared facial thermographic switch, (c) multi-camera tongue switch, (d) mechanomyographic switch.
Source: © Infinity Communication Access Lab. SEDL used with permission.
- Footnote 1
Figure 3a: From "Neckband Turns Sound into Computer Clicks," by L. Kinross, April 5, 2010, BLOOM Magazine. Copyright 2010 by Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. Retrieved from http://bloom-parentingkidswithdisabilities.blogspot.com/2010/04/neckband-turns-corvins-sounds-into.html. SEDL reprinted with permission from Holland Bloorview Rehabilitation Hospital.
- Footnote 2
Figure 3b: From "Infrared Thermography as an Access Pathway for Individuals with Severe Motor Impairments," by N. Memarian, A. N. Venetsanopoulos, & T. Chau, 2009, Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 6(11), p. 5. Copyright 2009 by Memarian et al. Retrieved from http://www.jneuroengrehab.com/content/6/1/11. SEDL used in compliance with Creative Commons Attribution License available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0 which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
For children who do not have functional speech but do have extant control of their vocal folds, staff developed the "hummer" (Figure 3a), a system that detects the vibrations of the vocal folds associated with silent humming (Falk, Chan, Duez, Teachman, & Chau, 2010; Lui, Falk, & Chau, 2012). For an individual who only retained voluntary opening and closing of his mouth, the Infinity Lab developed an infrared thermographic system that detects this motion non-invasively (Memarian, Venetsanopoulos, & Chau, 2011a, 2011b). This solution (Figure 3b) was implemented in the client’s home through the support of IBM. Some children exemplify well- controlled tongue movements amid widespread muscle spasticity or hyperkinetic movements. Figure 3c depicts a school and home-based solution that uses multiple web cameras to capture voluntary tongue protrusions (Leung & Chau, 2010), admitting varying head postures. Finally, in Figure 3d, a child models a mechanomyographic access system (Alves & Chau, 2010, 2011) that mechanically detects voluntary muscle contractions. This technology facilitates the functional use of small, deep, or atrophied muscles.
In all cases, the philosophy of enabling eventual assistive technology implementation has served to create a solid base of scientific evidence around access technologies that have been successful for each individual client. Within the parameters of available resources, the team leaves no case unpublished. While knowledge generated from rigorous experimentation and performance measurement is necessary for scientific papers, the staff also makes significant efforts to capture the associated practice wisdom, valuable knowledge that derives primarily from practical experience and usually remains tacit and undocumented. This type of “networked knowledge,” that is, knowledge that arises from interactions among individuals, flourishes in a community of practice. From experience in the Infinity Lab, it is the combined translation of traditional research knowledge and community-generated wisdom that ultimately facilitates the functional use of access technologies in real environments.
The Infinity Communication Access Lab leverages available resources to provide full support to both children and their families. By utilizing a three-step need-driven assessment program, the Infinity Lab is able to deliver continued training and guidance to students, parents, and educational staff. This experience in creating effective and evidence-based access technologies allows the lab not only to contribute to the scientific research knowledge base but also to further the abilities of the students who need these access technologies. By individualizing the process and creating access technology where needed, the Infinity Communication Access Lab shows its dedication to the success of each student.
The Infinity Communication Access Lab received a monetary award in the amount of $1,000 for providing detailed information to the KT4TT on their exemplary practices and for allowing the KT4TT to showcase their 'best practice' product development approaches to the broader NIDILRR community. In FOCUS Technical Brief No. 30, the KT4TT showcased the consumer involvement best practices of CreateAbility Concepts, Inc. (CCI), a SBIR Phase II NIDILRR grantee, as well as how the RERC-ACT leveraged available resources from their host institution, the University of Colorado, in utilizing the business and technology transfer expertise of their University's Technology Transfer Office (Leahy, 2011). The KT4TT continues to identify and highlight projects sponsored by NIDILRR/USDE or other agencies, demonstrating exemplary practices in the development, transfer, and production of assistive technology, thus ensuring that their research and development outputs deliver beneficial outcomes for people with disabilities.
Alves, N., & Chau, T. (2010). The design and testing of a novel mechanomyogram-driven switch controlled by small eyebrow movements. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation. 7, 22. doi:10.1186/1743-0003-7-22 http://www.jneuroengrehab.com/content/7/1/22
Alves, N., & Chau, T. (2011). Mechanomyography as an access pathway: corporeal contraindications. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 6(6), 552-563.
Chau, T., Moghimi, S., & Popovic, M.R. (in press). Knowledge translation in rehabilitation engineering research and development: A knowledge ecosystem framework. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Falk, T. H., Chan, J., Duez, P., Teachman, G., & Chau, T. (2010). Augmentative communication based on realtime vocal cord vibration detection. IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 18(2), 159-163.
Lane, J. P., & Flagg, J. L. (2010). Translating three states of knowledge–Discovery, invention and innovation. Implementation Science, 5(1). doi:10.1186/1748- 5908-5-9 http://www.implementationscience.com/content/5/1/9
Leahy, J. A. (2011). KT4TT: Knowledge translation embedded in technology transfer. FOCUS Technical Brief (30). Austin, TX: SEDL, National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research.
Leung, B., & Chau, T. (2010). A multiple camera tongue switch for a child with severe spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 5(1), 58-68.
Lui, M., Falk, T., & Chau, T. (2012). Development and evaluation of a dual-output vocal cord vibration switch for persons with multiple disabilities. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 7(1), 82-88.
Memarian, N., Venetsanopoulos, A. N., & Chau, T. (2011a). Body functions and structures pertinent to infrared thermography-based access for clients with severe motor disabilities. Assistive Technology, 23(2), 53-64.
Memarian, N., Venetsanopoulos, A. N., & Chau, T. (2011b). Client-centred development of an infrared thermal access switch for a young adult with severe spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 6(2), 179-187.
PRODUCT UTILIZATION SUPPORT AND HELP (PUSH) AWARD
The Center on Knowledge Translation for Technology Transfer (KT4TT) Product Utilization Support and Help (PUSH) Award is a peer-to-peer dissemination activity based on the identification and distribution of 'best practice' approaches to development, transfer and/or production processes by researchers and technology grantees. The goal is to provide the broader research and NIDILRR community with exemplars of research utilization that have been proven effective.
The PUSH program is modeled after some elements of SEDL's highly successful Research Utilization Support & Help (RUSH) program. RUSH supported NIDILRR grantees in their efforts to get their NIDILRR-funded research findings used in targeted, measurable ways. PUSH candidates are university researchers or NIDILRR technology grantees identified by KT4TT staff as conducting meritorious activity in Technology Transfer (TT) or Knowledge Translation (KT) for TT. The KT4TT, in conjunction with the selected candidate, generates a brief evidence-based description of a carrier used to successfully overcome a barrier within the technology transfer process. The supporting evidence may include research and/or practice knowledge.
The authors gratefully acknowledge colleagues who contributed to the concepts expressed herein. This document is a product of the Center on Knowledge Translation for Technology Transfer (KT4TT) and is published by SEDL. KT4TT is funded under Grant H133A080050 by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) of the U.S. Department of Education. The opinions contained in this publication are those of the authors, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.
Leahy, J. A., & Chau, T. (2013). Infinity Communication Access Lab recognized with 2012 Product Utilization Support and Help (PUSH) Award. FOCUS Technical Brief (36). Austin, TX: SEDL, Disability Research to Practice Program.
James A. Leahy
Co-PI, Project Administrative Officer
Center on Knowledge Translation for Technology Transfer (KT4TT)
Center for Assistive Technology, University at Buffalo (SUNY)
100 Sylvan Parkway, Suite 400
Amherst, NY 14228
James A. Leahy, BS, is a co-principal investigator for the Center on Knowledge Translation for Technology Transfer at the University at Buffalo. Prior to his current position, Mr. Leahy was a co-principal investigator and director of commercialization for the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technology Transfer (T2RERC). He has demonstrated success in creating research and development partnerships between major corporations and other institutions in the academic sector.
Tom Chau, PhD, PEng, is vice president of research and director of the Bloorview Research Institute, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, University of Toronto. Dr. Chau is also the Canada Research Chair in Pediatric Rehabilitation Engineering as well as a professor at the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto.
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