Recent decades have brought about an explosion in "assistive technologies" that promise more productive lives for persons with disabilities - even for the most profoundly disabled. "Technology" in this sense means any non-human assistance that helps bridge the gap between a per­son's physical abilities and his or her goals. This assis­tance might be a new or adapted piece of equipment, or an environmental change such as a redesigned work space that allows accessibility and function.

The Rehabilitation Engineering Service of the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) offers inno­vative, technology-related solutions to assist people with disabilities in being as independent and functional as possible.

The Service's clinical staff members have backgrounds in biomedical, electrical, and mechanical engineering, as well as in industrial technology. All of the rehabilitation engineers are actively involved in RESNA, an international, interdisciplinary organization concerned with rehabilitation and assistive technology.

Services offered

As part of an interdisciplinary team, a rehabilitation engineer will:

  • evaluate the patient's unique technology needs
  • recommend appropriate mechanical, electronic, or architectural solutions to overcome barriers
  • customize "off-the-shelf' assistive devices to meet particular needs
  • create one-of-a-kind assistive devices if needed


Available for purchase from MedStar NRH Rehab Engineering


Each kit includes all of the items necessary for performing the Action Research Arm Test.

$600 (plus shipping) Learn more


Rehabilitation Engineering services are available at the following locations:

Washington, D.C.