Research Lab

Creating Accessible Technologies

Advancing technologies to empower people with disabilities for a lifetime defines the goals for AT research at Virginia Tech.

To achieve these objectives, the AT Research Lab (or AT Lab) supports multidisciplinary research focused on creating new accessible technologies or improving the uses of existing assistive technologies for people with disabilities. In addition, Assistive Technologies also works regularly with established outreach programs to publicize the benefits of AT research. (See Teaching and Outreach)

Research collaborators and sponsors have included university, government, and corporate entities interested in conducting sponsored or independent research studies to advance AT for people with disabilities. Over the years, the AT Lab has collaborated with a number of university disciplines, labs, and centers that include Electrical and Computer Engineering, Human Factors and Ergonomics, School of Education, Biological Systems Engineering, Center for Geospatial Information Technology, and Computer Science. Outside the university, the AT Lab has worked with corporate sponsors, other universities, and with Commonwealth disability service agencies.

AT Lab participation in a research project brings expertise in accessibility issues, assistive technologies, and universal design principles. Prior research participation has included work on: the efficacy of speech recognition when used by people with learning disabilities; programming avatars to produce American Sign Language (ASL) with the goal of web based sign language interpreters for the deaf; cellular phone research with Human Factors and Ergonomics to improve cellular phone designs for people with disabilities, such as blindness; cross-cultural studies of specific assistive technologies; and independent research studies with graduate and undergraduate students and their faculty advisors on a variety of research projects involving the creation or improvement of assistive technologies.

The AT Lab is physically located in room 1180 of Torgersen Hall. For more on the AT Research Lab, please contact us.