SKERI Receives Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) grant on Blindness and Low Vision


Smith-Kettlewell is proud to announce the newly awarded Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) grant on Blindness and Low Vision. This is a five-year grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, establishing Smith-Kettlewell as a center promoting the independence and well-being of people with visual impairments through research and development to improve the understanding of, and provide solutions for, challenges facing the blind and low-vision community.

Smith-Kettlewell has been the RERC on Blindness and Low Vision for half a century. In this time, the RERC (augmented by other important funding sources including the National Eye Institute and Smith-Kettlewell) has supported a number of R&D projects. A few examples include:

Many of the RERC achievements can be found on the Accomplishments page. 

The new RERC grant will support a total of eight projects within three main areas of focus, led both by researchers at Smith-Kettlewell and by outside collaborators. These projects include: (a) access to education and information (Audio-Tactile Media, AI-Enhanced Video Accessibility for YouDescribe and a Smith-Kettlewell Summer Institute); (b) navigation and spatial interactions (Mobilizing Non-Visual Digital Maps, VR Tools and Training to Improve Auditory Environmental Perception and AI Tools for Micro-Navigation); and (c) optimizing function with residual vision (Assessment and Rehab of Higher Visual Function Deficits for Cerebral Visual Impairment and Strategies to Improve Walking Safety with Central Field Loss).

photos of hands reading Braille, man on a side walk with a white cane, patient & healthcare provider in an ophthalmology office. Respective labels: Access to Education & Information, Navigation & Spatial Interactions, Maximizing Residual Vision