National Science Foundation announces topics of 2022 Convergence Accelerator Solicitation, with rehab relevancy.

January 05, 2022

The National Science Foundation has announced the upcoming topics for the 2022 NSF Convergence Accelerator Solicitation.

The first track for solicitations has particular relevance to medical rehabilitation research.

Track H: Enhancing Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities

There are almost 50 million people with disabilities (PWD or PWDs) in the United States today. PWDs, especially women and those from traditionally underserved racial and ethnic groups, experience major physical and professional barriers that can impact their health, careers, and overall quality of life. The NSF Convergence Accelerator's Track H: Enhancing Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities will serve as a platform to bring together researchers, practitioners, and stakeholders from a wide range of disciplines and sectors to work on use-inspired solutions to enhance quality of life and employment access and opportunities for PWDs. The convergent research track topic was chosen based on the results of NSF-funded community workshops, such as the Accelerating Disability Inclusion in Workplaces Through Technology Workshop and Liberate 2021: Living Better through Rehabilitative and Assistive Technology. Broad topics within this track may include – but are not limited to – the ones listed below.

  • Development of innovative assistive or rehabilitative technologies to help improve equity, inclusion, and accessibility for PWDs of all ages. These could be based on advances in social and rehabilitation robotics; non-invasive stimulation technologies; advanced materials; additive manufacturing/3D printing; battery technologies; sensors; flexible printed electronics; soft robotics; neuromorphic engineering; extended reality; autonomous vehicles; and information and communication technologies.
  • Design of and enhancements to assistive technologies and access to digital and in-person spaces; hiring and workforce accommodations; training; workforce development; integrated services; work-based learning and K-16 education; and scalable and adaptive retraining tools.
  • Creation of tools, methods, software, and other resources that are based on translational approaches rooted in social sciences, behavioral sciences, ethics, and economics, and that ultimately advance innovative policies and procedures to aid PWDs and the communities they interact with. Projects could also focus on the provision and coordination of services; design of accessible transportation and housing; workforce programs; and other key focuses.

Please see full information on the solicitation topics from the National Science Foundation website.