Two older Asian women using a smart speaker and electronic tablet while seated at a table at home.

Technologies to Support Aging with Disability

Technologies to Support Aging with Disability

The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technologies to Support Aging among People with Long-Term Disabilities (RERC TechSAge) is a collaborative grant center based at Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Georgia State University. Founded in 2013, TechSAge features multidisciplinary research, development, and training projects that are dedicated to understanding the needs of, and developing supportive technologies for, people aging with long-term vision, hearing, and mobility disabilities.

Collage of headshots of the TechSAge 3 team members

TechSAge receives 5-year grant renewal!

We are pleased to announce that we have been awarded a third, 5-year, $4.6 million grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). The new RERC aims to “meet the needs of people with long-term disabilities where they live, work, and play by conducting advanced engineering research and development of innovative technologies.” The center will be based at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, with continued collaboration with Georgia Tech and Georgia State University. Stay tuned for project updates and a new website!  

student in labratory setting performing a manual wheelchair fall as part of testing of fall detection device

Featured Article

Developing a Fall Detection Algorithm

Existing automated fall detection devices are lacking in their ability to detect falls among wheelchair users. A new TechSAge article in Assistive Technology highlights the development of a fall detection algorithm, developed in a laboratory setting using machine learning techniques, that can accurately differentiate between wheelchair-related falls and wheelchair mobility activities. Researchers conducted a pilot study wherein 30 young, healthy, and ambulatory adults simulated 258 wheelchair falls and 220 wheelchair mobility activities in a lab with fall data retrieved from accelerometers worn on participants’ wrist, chest, and head. Findings indicate that the algorithm should be integrated into wrist-worn devices and further tested among wheelchair users to evaluate its ability to minimize consequences from falls. Request the full article by Libak Abou, Alexander Fliflet, Peter Presti, Jacob Sosnoff, Harshal Mahajan, Mikaela Frechette, and Laura Rice.

Latest Publications

Digital Assistants

Potential of Digital Home Assistant Devices for Older Adults

Fall Prevention

Mobile Technology for Falls Prevention in Older Adults

Home Environment Design

Understanding Home Activities Challenges of Older Adults Aging with Mobility Disabilities
Gaby Trier December 2023 Staff Spotlight

Staff Spotlight: Gaby Trier

Gaby Trier is a senior majoring in Kinesiology with a minor in Disability Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Gaby is the lab coordinator for the Disability, Participation and Quality of Life (DPQoL) Lab. She works on the TechSAge Monitoring and Managing Falls project supporting community-based trials of the fall detection prototype for wheelchair users. After graduation, Gaby plans to pursue a physical therapy graduate program. In her free time, Gaby helps to train mobility service dogs. 

Woman in a wheelchair filling out a form with a woman standing next to her

Become a Research Participant!

We maintain a registry of names of people who are interested in being contacted about research studies. Opportunities include: surveys, focus groups, interviews, and technology evaluations. Depending on the study, you may be able to participate on the phone, online, on campus, at your home, or in other locations.

Interested in joining? We need to ask a you a few questions about yourself to see which studies you might be eligible for and match your interests with our researchers. Complete the brief survey (5-10 minutes) online here:

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TechSAge research is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant numbers #90REGE0021 and #90REGE0006-01-00). 

NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).