Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center

Collage of RERC staff mebers and RERC projects

The Center's research goal is to develop and apply new scientific knowledge and practical, cost-effective devices to better understand and address the real-world problems of blind, visually impaired, and deaf-blind consumers. The RERC has many ongoing R&D projects and collaborative relationships, both internal and external to Smith-Kettlewell. Primary funding for the RERC comes from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, with other important sources of support, including the National Eye Institute, and The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute.

Please check out the latest news about the RERC on Twitter.

Tabs

Journal Articles
Ahmetovic, D., Manduchi, R., Coughlan, J., & Mascetti, S.. (2017). Mind your crossings: Mining GIS imagery for crosswalk localization. Acm Transactions On Accessible Computing (Taccess), 9(4). http://doi.org/10.1145/3046790
Conference Papers
Fusco, G., & Coughlan, J.. (2020). Indoor Localization for Visually Impaired Travelers Using Computer Vision on a Smartphone. In 17th International Web for All Conference: Automation for Accessibility.
Teng, S., & Fusco, G.. (2019). Modeling echo-target acquisition in blind humans. In . Date Published 09/2019, Conference on Cognitive Computational Neuroscience: Berlin, Germany.
Biggs, B., Coughlan, J., & Coppin, P.. (2019). Design and Evaluation of an Audio Game-Inspired Auditory Map Interface. In The 25th International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD 2019). Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK: Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK.
Mascetti, S., Gerino, A., Bernareggi, C., D’Acquisto, S., Ducci, M., & Coughlan, J.. (2017). JustPoint: Identifying Colors with a Natural User Interface. In 19th Int’l ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (ASSETS 2017). ACM: Baltimore, MD.
Coughlan, J., & Miele, J.. (2017). Evaluating Author and User Experience for an Audio-Haptic System for Annotation of Physical Models. In 19th Int’l ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (ASSETS 2017). ACM: Baltimore, MD.
Rituerto, A., Fusco, G., & Coughlan, J.. (2016). Towards a Sign-Based Indoor Navigation System for People with Visual Impairments. In 18th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility. ACM: Reno, NV.
Ahmetovic, D., Manduchi, R., Coughlan, J., & Mascetti, S.. (2015). Zebra Crossing Spotter: Automatic Population of Spatial Databases for Increased Safety of Blind Travelers. In ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (ASSETS 2015). http://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2700648.2811392
Presentations/Posters
García-Lázaro, H. G., Wong-Kee-You, A. M. B., Alwis, Y., & Teng, S.. (2021). Making remote studies accessible during COVID: A SKERI case study on web-based psychophysical research with blind participants. Date Published 07/2021, Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) Annual Meeting: Virtual.
Other Publications
Shen, H., & Coughlan, J.. (2012). Towards a real-time system for finding and reading signs for visually impaired users. In Computers Helping People with Special Needs (pp. 41–47). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
Brabyn, J. (2010). Sensory Rehabilitation. In Sage Encyclopedia of Perception (pp. 881-883). Goldstein, B. (Ed) Sage Publications: Thousand Oaks, CA.
Brabyn, J. (2010). Assistive Technologies for the Blind. In Sage Encyclopedia of Perception (pp. 64-67). Goldstein, B. (Ed.) Sage Publications: Thousand Oaks, CA.
Brabyn, J. (2008). Vision. In Lange, M (Ed.) Fundamentals in Assistive Technology: An Introduction in Assistiave Technology Implementation in the Lives of People with Disabilities (4th ed., pp. 293-311). Resna Press: Arlington, VA.
Brabyn, J., Seelman, K. D., & Panchang, S.. (2007). Aids for people who are blind or visually impaired. In Cooper, RA, Ohnabe H, Hobson D, (Eds.) An Introduction to Rehabilitation Engineering (pp. 287-313). Taylor & Francis: New York.
Seelman, K. D., Brabyn, J., Ortmann, A., & Palmer, C. V.. (2006). Sensory Aids. In Akay, M. (Ed), Wiley Encyclopedia of Biomedical Engineering. John Wiley & Sons: New Jersey.
Arditi, A., & Brabyn, J.. (2000). Signage and wayfinding. In Silverstone, Lang, Rosenthal & Faye (Eds), The Lighthouse Handbook on Visual Impairment and Vision Rehabilitation (Vol. 1–2). Oxford University Press: New York.
Heller, M., & Brabyn, J.. Visual Impairment: Ergonomic Considerations in Blind and Low Vision Rehabilitation. In Kumar, S. (Ed.), Perspectives in Rehabilitation Ergonomics (Vol. 1). Taylor & Francis: London.

Upcoming Events

There are no Upcoming Events at this time

Past Events

  • SKILL Card Mockup

    Brabyn Lab

    My lab is the home for the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center funded by NIDILRR with additional support from SKERI and other agencies.

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  • Lab members leaning casually around an eye chart.

    Chandna Lab (SEELAB)

    We use rigorous scientific research with the goal to improve detection and treatment outcomes for individuals with strabismus, amblyopia, and cerebral visual impairment.

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  • Colenbrander Lab

    Colenbrander lab

    To explore vision-related functioning as it relates to Vision Rehabilitation.

     

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  • L to R: Huiying Shen, Ali Cheraghi, Brandon Biggs, James Coughlan, Charity Pitcher-Cooper, Giovanni Fusco

    Coughlan Lab

    The Coughlan Lab

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  • Fletcher Lab

    Our research interests include macular function in low vision patients; outcomes of occupational therapy training of low vision patients; and psychology in low vision rehabilitation.

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  • Photo of Deborah Gilden

    Gilden Lab

    The Gilden Lab conducts research and other activities to acquire new information, create new, devices and develop new strategies to improve the lives of people with low vision or no vision.

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  • Good Lab

    Our laboratory studies the conditions which cause monocular or bilateral blindness in infants and children.

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  • A researcher runs an experiment on her colleague

    Lott Lab

     

    Our lab is investigating the visual, motor and cognitive factors that contribute to reading ability in people with early to intermediate age-related macular degeneration.

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  • Picture of a sound treated room with speaker array

    Simon Auditory Lab

    The goal of our laboratory is to examine the auditory abilities of people with various degrees of hearing loss with and without vision loss.

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Active Completed Inactive
  • Inactive

    Functional Assessment - Book Chapters

    Categorization of visual functioning requires appropriate measurement methods.  Dr.

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  • Inactive

    Functional Assessment - Contrast Sensitivity

    For eye doctors measuring contrast sensitivity loss during routine eye exams is not a priority, since contrast losses are n

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  • Inactive

    Functional Assessment - Reading

    Difficulty reading is the most common complaint of low vision patients.  It is the Activity of Daily Living that is most closely

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  • Inactive
  • ivasearch sample 2
    Inactive

    Functional Assessment - Visual Fields

    Most patients are unaware of their visual field defects and scotomata, be it from AMD, from glaucoma, from RP, or from other causes.

    Dr. Colenbrander developed an improved functional scoring system for visual fields, as part of the Functional Vision Score system (see Guidelines)

    Preliminary implementation of the Functional Vision Score system on the Humphrey Field Analyzer. August Colenbrander, MD, Marc F. Lieberman, MD, Daniel C. Schainholz, MD. Perimetry Update 1992/93, (Proceedings of the International Perimetric Society, Kyoto, October 1992), Kugler publications, 1993, pp 487-496.

    Dr. Colenbrander later developed a visual search test as a fast screening test for scotomata, implemented on a smartphone or tablet. [PDF]

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  • Image of Dr. Miele working with an Arduino board
    Inactive

    Blind Arduino Project

    The Blind Arduino Project grew out of a community effort led by Dr.

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  • Inactive

    Wearabraille

    WearaBraille is a research project into wearable computing, and the use of MEMS sensors as novel input technology to mobile devices such as laptops, PDAs and smartphones. Our prototype device funct

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  • YouDescribe logo Block letter Y and D in shades of purple. Over grey Golden Gate bridge in fog.
    Inactive

    YouDescribe

    YouDescribe is a free, web-based platform for adding audio description to YouTube content.

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  • Inactive
  • overTHERE icon: Globe image with pointing finger
    Inactive

    overTHERE

    overTHERE is a virtual Talking Signs iPhone app for blind and visually-impaired pedestrians that demonstrates a powerful audio/haptic interface to location information about businesses and other points of interest.

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  • RERC Poster
    Inactive

    RERC Center Grant

    The RERC Center Grant funds a number of projects for blind and visually impaired persons. The projects broadly fall into the categories of Functional Assessment, Access to Spatial and Graphic Information, and STEM Education.

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  • Black and white image of Golden Gate Bridge in fog. Text: Be descriptive, be brief, be part of the solution.
    Inactive

    Describeathon 2019 Announced!

    Join Describeathon 2019! Help make YouTube videos more accessible to blind viewers by adding your voice to this day of description.

    Use YouDescribe, our free web-based description tool, to describe the visuals of your favorite YouTube videos and have fun doing it!

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  • Bill Gerrey testing TVSS  technology
    Inactive
  • Inactive

    Low Vision Computer Access

    Dr. Deborah Gilden wants to ensure that people who work with low vision students, clients, or patients, or have a visually impaired friend or family member, know that many features built into the Windows OS, MS Office applications, and the Internet, often can serve as tools for low vision computer access.

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  • Picture of the robotic fingerspelling hand
    Inactive

    Robotic Fingerspelling Hand for Communicating with Deaf-Blind People

    A robotic fingerspelling hand would give anyone who can type the ability to communicate with deaf-blind people who know tactile fingerspelling. It also would have the potential to provide computer access to deaf-blind people who do not read Braille.

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  • Inactive

    Braille, Assistive Technology, and Reading Comprehension

    This project explores the impact of presentation mode (braille vs.

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  • list of Disorders of the Visual Organs
    Inactive

    Classification and Coding Projects

    One of Dr Colenbrander's persistent interests has been in classification and coding. In the 1960’s he participated in the development of a new ophthalmic coding system in the Netherlands.

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  • Inactive

    Functional Assessment - Guidelines and Reports

    Combining his interests in classification and in vision rehabilitation, Dr. Colenbrander has promoted a better understanding of the various aspects of vision loss, their causes, and above all their consequences for the person.

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  • Low Vision Support Group Logo
    Inactive

    Low Vision Support Group

    Join Dr. Don Fletcher, one of the world’s leading authorities on Low Vision Rehabilitation, to share experiences and learn about the things that help you maintain a full and happy life while living with low vision.

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Current