The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) proposes an Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training (ARRT) project: Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training: Inclusive Technology and Policy Design Research Fellowships, in response to NIDILRR’s priority for the ARRT Policy Research Fellowship program. During the five-year duration of this project, Georgia Tech proposes to train four (4) postdoctoral fellows in the area of advanced disability and accessible technology policy, responsive to NIDILRR’s domains of community participation and employment with a cross-cutting focus on technology for access and with specializations in information and communications technology (ICT) policy, as it pertains to issues of accessibility and usability for individuals with disabilities.
Georgia Tech’s ARRT program will partner with the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Wireless Inclusive Technologies (Wireless RERC) to provide a basis for training and research activities. The Wireless RERC has current and previous relationships with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), National Technology and Information Administration (NTIA), National Council on Disability (NCD), and U.S. Access Board to address the priority’s requirement for a one-year residency in Washington, DC for Congressional, Federal Agency, or relevant non-governmental organizational policy experience. The program also will be supported by other NIDILRR funded projects at Georgia Tech related to technology and disability, including the Field Initiated Project on the Contingent Employment of Individuals with Disabilities (FIP-CE), which also engages policymaking as it pertains to technologically based employment of individuals with disabilities as part of the so-called “gig economy.”
In Year 1, Georgia Tech will develop a targeted recruitment program to identify relevant candidates. A first cohort of two candidates will be enrolled to begin by the end of Year 1, and they will be trained through Year 3. In Year 3, a second cohort of two candidates will be enrolled and trained through Year 5, for a total of four (4) fellows trained. Candidates will be supported with a stipend of $50,000 per year, which is comparable to other postdoctoral trainees at Georgia Tech and commensurate with the Atlanta, Georgia area. Formal (instructional) training will include a three-hour Special Topics seminar, Applied Disability Research Policy Methods (PUBP 8813), offered through the School of Public Policy on an audit-basis by Drs. Moon and Baker, faculty with appointments in the School of Public Policy. Additional mentorship and guidance will be provided through participation in the research, training, and dissemination projects of the Wireless RERC as well as associated research activities of the Wireless RERC’s home unit, the Center for Advanced Communications Policy. Two fellows will be supported for a one-year residency in Washington, DC, or a comparable appointment. Fellows also will complete a collaborative research project, with emphasis on conference presentations that will be supported by the project and manuscript preparation.