New site seeks suggestions for disabilities research

New federal site seeks suggestions for disabilities research

A new government Web site provides a forum for citizens to submit ideas for research projects the government should undertake into disabilities and rehabilitation.

Visitors can go to, created by the Interagency Committee on Disability Research, to offer ideas on several topics, such as technology access, education, employment, community life and health care.

"This Web site allows all Americans interested in these important issues to provide input on potential areas of needed research in areas affecting Americans with disabilities," said Robert H. Pasternack, assistant secretary of Education for special education and rehabilitative services, in a statement.

The site, hosted by the Education Department, links to other sites about disabilities and the President’s New Freedom Initiative, which aims to improve life for citizens with disabilities.

Steven James Tingus, the committee’s chairman and director for Education’s National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, said the site will ensure that federal research efforts meet the needs of the disability community and will help agencies coordinate their research programs.

"We want to make it easier for individuals with disabilities, their family members and other stakeholders to let us know what research issues we should consider," Tingus said in a statement. "We will use this feedback to generate recommendations on R&D that will improve the lives of people with disabilities."

Congress established the committee in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Its members include the commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration; secretaries of the Education, Veterans Affairs and Transportation departments; directors of the National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Mental Health; administrator of NASA; assistant secretary of Interior for Indian affairs; director of the Indian Health Service; and director of the National Science Foundation. Several other departments and agencies also participate on committee programs.

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