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

Technologies to Support Aging-in-Place

Technologies to Support Aging-in-Place

The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technologies to Support Aging-in-Place for 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.

Four TechSAge students and Wendy Rogers at their hooding ceremony after receiving their PhDs from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Four TechSAge Students Receive Their PhDs

A big congratulations to four students on the TechSAge team who received their PhDs from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign this past December: Kenneth Blocker (Educational Psychology), Maurita Harris (Community Health), Madina Khamzina (Community Health), and Qiong (Tina) Nie (Community Health). The graduates are pictured here with their advisor, TechSAge Co-Director Wendy Rogers. We are so proud of you!

An older woman using a laptop and smart speaker while seated at a table beside an electronic tablet and notebooks.

Featured Article

Potential of Digital Home Assistant Devices for Older Adults

Voice-activated digital home assistants (DHA) like the Amazon Echo hold great potential to support the everyday home activities of older adults— and especially those with disabilities. However, there is a need to understand more about how these devices are perceived by this population. A new TechSAge article in Gerontechnology provides insights on the initial perceptions and use of DHA devices by older adults with disabilities. The research team introduced two different Amazon Echo form-factors to a group of older adults with and without disabilities, observed their initial use of the devices, and interviewed participants on their experiences. Older adults with no prior use of DHAs demonstrated positive initial attitudes toward the devices and were able to successfully use them following brief instruction. The authors identified potential usability issues and discussed how findings can drive the future design of DHAs to better meet the home-based needs of an aging population. Read the full article by Travis Kadylak, Kenneth Blocker, Christopher Kovac, and Wendy Rogers.  

Latest Publications

Fall Prevention

Mobile Technology for Falls Prevention in Older Adults

Home Environment Design

Understanding Home Activities Challenges of Older Adults Aging with Mobility Disabilities

Research-Driven Guidelines

Delivering Group Exercise Programs via Videoconferencing to Older Adults
Emma Lachs

Staff Spotlight: Emma Lachs

Emma Lachs recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Community Health at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and now works as a project coordinator at the Human Factors & Aging Laboratory. With TechSAge, Emma helps oversee the R2 field trial, providing support for participant encounters, data collection and analysis, technical reporting, and instructional support materials review. Her research interests include early social emotional learning intervention for children with developmental disabilities and how technology can improve quality and accessibility of mental health care, especially for older adults. Emma comes from a large family (where she is one of eleven children!) and is currently developing a children’s picture book about emotions.

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 number #90REGE0006-01-00 ). 

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