Advances in medicine and technology are helping people live longer despite advanced age and previously life-ending traumatic injuries. Assistive technology has provided some independence and improved quality of life, but many chronic conditions lack effective preventative medical treatment or cure, and strain our healthcare systems. An increasing array of technological innovations are available to patients and care givers to support self-management, maintenance of functional abilities and care delivery, but their practical application remains critical targets for research, education and service. The Disability, Aging and Technology Cluster will take advantage of Florida’s ideal living laboratory to design, develop and disseminate practical and affordable interventions to help reintegrate people while promoting health and well-being. The cluster also will enhance positive physical and psycho-social determinants of health, inform policy and develop technological innovations through interdisciplinary research, education and service partnerships.
UCF Colleges and Centers Involved in Disability, Aging and Technology
- College of Engineering and Computer Science
- College of Health Professions and Sciences
- College of Nursing
- College of Sciences
- NanoScience Technology Center
- Rosen College of Hospitality Management
Learn More About Disability, Aging and Technology:
- Promote convergence of diverse areas such as human factors, nursing, social work, hospitality, physical therapy, engineering and computation for effective exchange of ideas toward usable assistive technology
- Explore how these innovations can be made more accessible in diverse communities affected by disparities in the social determinants of health
- Facilitate the development of a new undergraduate degree program in Life Care Management at the Rosen College of Hospitality, which has partnered with the College of Nursing, as well as a Ph.D. program in Rehabilitative Sciences
- Expand funded research emphasizing the very important area of healthcare and the application of assistive technology to empower older adults and reduce societal and caregiver burdens arising from increases in the numbers of aging individuals, as well as those with disabilities
- Provide guidance for policy makers that take into account health, societal and economic realities
More details about the cluster can be found in the Disability, Aging and Technology Faculty Cluster Proposal.
Why Join the Disability, Aging and Technology Cluster?
UCF already is a leader in assistive robotics and neural control systems, and faculty have received funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research to provide everyday robotics solutions for individuals with multiple sclerosis and other disabilities where people are wheelchair bound.
A Vibrant Living Laboratory
UCF is home to an active elder learning programs for seniors called LIFE@UCF and an affiliated continuing-care retirement community – Legacy Pointe at UCF – is in development adjacent to the university’s campus with opportunities for lifelong learning, wellness and social and intellectual engagement.
UCF faculty are developing video games and robotics kits to improve seniors’ quality of life. One grant from the National Institutes of Health helped create a game that will help aging cancer patients take care of themselves. Another faculty member teamed up with UCF’s CREATE (Center for Research and Education in Arts, Technology and Entertainment) to study how small-assembly kit robots help prevent age-related physical and cognitive decline.
We’re Looking for the Best.
Disability, Aging and Technology Faculty
The following faculty are involved in developing and guiding the cluster and its efforts.
- Norma Conner, Associate Professor and Associate Dean
- Victoria Loerzel, Associate Professor
- Boon Peng Ng, Assistant Professor
- Joon-Hyuk Park, Assistant Professor
- Denise Gammonley, Associate Professor
- Jeffrey Stout, Professor
- Keith Kovach, Associate Professor
- Helen Huang, Assistant Professor
- Nicole Dawson, Assistant Professor
- Patrick Pabian, Clinical Associate Professor and Program Director
- Samuel Towne, Assistant Professor
- Elizabeth Sikorska-Simmons, Associate Professor
- Aman Behal, Professor
The Faculty Cluster Initiative is hiring in nine interdisciplinary areas to advance UCF’s areas of excellence and global impact. We’re looking for leaders to help shape collaborative research and teaching across the university.