Universal Design and Assistive Technology Institute (UDATI)

The Universal Design and Assistive Technology Institute (UDATI) researches and develops new technologies and interventions to help us maximize the function of the people with severe physical disabilities who currently reside at or attend programs at The Center for Discovery. We do this by engaging a diverse array of stakeholders in:

1. Developig universal and assistive technologies that address the unique needs of The Center for Discovery clients and residents, in ways that are sensitive to the requirements of The Center as well as other clinical, educational and residential environments.

2. Contribute to evidence-based practice by studying the effectiveness of our therapeutic interventions and technologies.

3. Designing and commercializing orphan and individual assistive devices and technologies that so that the needs of the people we serve will be supported by adequate commercial research and development.

4. Helping to guide manufacturers and stakeholders in the ways they develop of assistive technology so that the research and development community can best support a true progression of independent functioning for our very complex, and often overlooked clientele. All of this stakeholder input is vital to innovative assistive technology solutions that will remain available to persons with disabilities over the long term.

Because traditional research methods don’t adequately discern outcomes of universal design and assistive technology interventions, we combine qualitative and quantitative methods to perform our assessments.

A large portion of the equipment in the space was funded through the generosity of The Alfred E Smith Memorial Foundation

The Assessment Kitchen
The Assessment Kitchen in the lower west side studio of the Big Barn has been designed to provide both functional access and assessment opportunity for all our guests at The Center for Discovery. This kitchen is a work in progress where we hope to build on our existing knowledge and experience and work towards improving access through both formal assessment and purposeful design for both children and adults.

The space will have daily oversight provided by our full time Education Department.

We will be following our existing education curriculum focused on all areas associated with food preparation, cooking, cleaning and dining setup. Scheduling of the space will accommodate the schedules of our clinical staff performing evidence based assessment and therapies.

The Clinical Department staff led by our Occupational Therapy Department along with our Speech Department and Physical Therapy Department will be performing evidence based therapy as well as performing formal goniometric evaluations, and ergonomic assessments  (AMI Available Motion Inventories). The Assistive Technology Department will continue to perform observations, assessments, design and fabrications.

Note: this kitchen build-out was made possible by The Center for Discovery and the significant efforts of our Cabinetry and Carpentry Department