ATRI's director of research and development elected to RESNA's board of directors|
Denis Anson, M.S., O.T.R., the director of research and development at the Misericordia University Assistive Technology Research Institute (ATRI), has been elected to the board of directors for the Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA).
RESNA is the premier professional organization dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of people with disabilities by increasing access to technology solutions. An international membership organization, RESNA advances the field by offering certification, continuing education, professional development, promoting research, developing technology standards and more.
Anson has spearheaded research and development at ATRI since its inception in 2003. At ATRI, he developed the Americans with Disabilities Act-Compliance Assessment Toolkit or ADA-CAT to measure whether public facilities are in compliance with the federal law. The ADA-CAT is a screening tool that allows people without advanced technical training to assess the architectural barriers of the built environment.
The kit is composed of the audits and measurement kit. The audits define the characteristics of an accessible and usable environment and feature a scoring system that produces a numerical score for accessibility and usability compliance. It is available online at http://ada-cat.misericordia.edu. The measurement kit is a set of 11 instruments that have been developed to allow individuals to quickly determine whether or not features of the environment meet the standards of the ADA and audits, such as a turning radius for a wheel chair or height requirements for outlets, grab bars and shower seats.
Overall, ATRI is a regional resource that provides information and education in the application of assistive technology and universal design principles that helps individuals with limited function to participate in their personal lives to the greatest extent possible.
The institute’s activities include research into the usability of devices and products that are specifically marketed to individuals with disabilities and are intended to improve their function, as well as products that are intended for the general population, but have been designed to be used by people with functional restrictions and able-bodied individuals.
Anson holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in occupational therapy with training in research, gerontology and nerve/muscle physiology from the University of Washington. He has been actively involved in computer and assistive technology applications for rehabilitation for more than 33 years.