Currently there are 25 ongoing projects that are supported by $3.3M in annual federal funding. The collaborative funding sources include National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. We have 29 full- and part-time staff, eight faculty, and 15 student assistants on staff.
The Birmingham-Lakeshore Aging with Disability Exercise and Environment Study (BLADE2S) is designed to prospectively assess the relationships between physical activity, health outcomes, and environmental and sociocultural factors among people with disabilities. BLADE2S will follow Lakeshore members, their families, and community members with disabilities to determine unique differences in lifestyle observed in adults with disabilities, changes in health and function over the lifespan, and determine the effects of health behaviors on the onset of certain health conditions and functional limitations.
Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Interactive Exercise Technologies and Exercise Physiology for People with Disabilities
RecTech is a five year federally funded research center that uses new and emerging technologies to promote healthy, active lifestyles in children and adults with disabilities. The Center, located at Lakeshore Foundation in Homewood, Alabama, focuses on four key areas of research and development:
- increase access to environments, equipment, and programs associated with healthy, active living;
- encourage greater rates of participation in healthy levels of physical activity;
- promote adherence to regular exercise; and 4) explore how physical activity affects health, function and performance in people with disabilities.
RESEARCH PROJECTS (R)
R1: Activity Monitors for Physical Activity Assessment of Manual Wheelchair Users
Research that allows manual wheelchair users to estimate their daily energy expenditure using inexpensive and widely available personal monitoring technologies such as pedometers and accelerometers.
R2: TExT-ME – Telehealth Exercise Training with Monitoring and Evaluation
Research to develop and test a telehealth training and monitoring system that allows participants who do not have access to a fitness center to exercise at home under the supervision of a remote personal trainer.
R3: POWERS – Personalized Online Weight and Exercise Response System
Development and testing of an online system for promoting and monitoring physical activity in children with disabilities in their local community. A telehealth coach establishes a link between the child/parent and local service provider (e.g., ballet, martial arts, swimming, etc.) and facilitates integration of the child into the program with remote instruction, monitoring and feedback.
DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS (D)
D1:Adaptive Video Game Controllers
Development of adaptations for active video gaming (AVG) accessibility for youths with disabilities, followed by assessment of energy expenditure to determine the impact of AVGs on health and fitness.
D2: An Advanced Virtual Exercise Environment Device (AVE2D) for Promoting Socially Engaging Physical Activity
Development of an accessible exercise device that provides people with disabilities virtual access to socially engaging, natural exercise environments (e.g., parks, museums, shopping malls) out of their own home.
D3: Development of Uniform Standards for Accessible Fitness Equipment
The promotion of national and international standards for universally designed fitness facilities and exercise equipment. This is a collaborative project between RecTech standards developers and the U.K Inclusive Fitness Initiative.
RERC RecTech is located at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and Lakeshore Foundation and is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, National In- stitute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) (Grant # H133E120005).
Building Healthy, Inclusive Communities
Since 1999, the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD) has been successfully implementing a comprehensive, inclusive health promotion agenda targeting the over 50 million Americans with a disability. As the premier resource for information on health promotion and disability, NCHPAD works to create health equity for people with disability by providing individualized information, referral and consultation services to people with disability, families, caregivers, policymakers, and community members along with tailored training and implementation facilitation for health care practitioners, fitness and public health professionals through an array of web-based materials and health communication endeavors.
NCHPAD continues to enhance connectivity and information sharing by closing gaps in communication between disability service providers and local, county, and state public health programs. The Center focuses on building inclusive communities that provide people with disability equal access to and opportunities for healthy living by implementing policy, systems, and environmental changes that increase access to physical activity, healthful food, and healthy weight management initiatives.
NCHPAD utilizes a new knowledge-to-practice framework to achieve three short-term and five intermediate outcomes. Increased availability and use of community models, tools, and resources (STO1); Increased knowledge and awareness of health risk factors in people with disability (STO2); Improved collaboration with partners (STO3); Improved evidence base for health promotion programs (IO1); Increased adoption of inclusive programmatic, policy, systems, and environmental changes (IO2); Increased participation in evidence-based and innovative health promotion programs (IO3); Improved organizational capacity to serve communities across the U.S. (IO4); and Improved data collection methods to capture successful ‘best practices’(IO5). The N-KATS framework (NCHPAD, Knowledge Adaptation, Translation, and Scale Up) supports the Center’s participation in building the inclusion of people with disability in community-based health/wellness programs, services, and venues to build the evidence by capturing successful strategies at the local level, finding innovative ways to translate successful practices to other communities, and ultimately upgrading and maintaining their applicability.
For more information on NCHPAD, visit www.nchpad.org.
Lakeshore Foundation is a leader in sport science for athletes with disabilities with the U.S. and around the world. Utilizing expertise in exercise physiology, biomechanics, sport psychology, and nutrition, we provide services for our own athletes as well as U.S. National team members in sports including wheelchair rugby, wheelchair basketball, sailing, swimming, power soccer, wheelchair tennis, and equestrian.