Occupational Therapy is Part of a Disabilities Research Lab at Media and Games Network (MAGNET)

Anita Perr, clinical associate professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, is part of a team that will create an Accessibility and Assistive Technology Research and Development Lab at the NYU Media and Games Network (MAGNET).  MAGNET is a facility in Brooklyn’s MetroTech Center that brings together NYU and Polytechnic Institute of NYU faculty whose teaching and research bridge technology and culture.

The team, led by R. Luke DuBois (NYU Poly/Steinhardt) and Marianne Petit (Tisch), has received a $100,000 seed grant from NYU’s Office of Sponsored Programs to create a research lab facility for pursuing disabilities and access research, drawing in collaborators across the university. The funds will be used to create a space where people who are interested in developing technology for people with disabilities would have a place to work and would have access to the partners in the project, including people with disabilities,  engineers, designers, artists, and therapists who work with people with disabilities.

Perr will serve as a liaison to Steinhardt and to other schools through the NYU Council on the Study of Disability.   She will also serve as an expert during the site’s development process and will consult on the functional aspects of the technologies being developed.

Perr noted that people with disabilities often use technology to augment their own abilities.

“Because participation in many activities is still difficult for many people with disabilities new assistive technologies are being developed to meet those, as yet unmet, needs. This lab will be a place where that development can take place. By building an interdisciplinary approach into the development process, the client-centered technologies should meet the needs of the people for whom the technologies are developed.”

(Photo:  Anita Perr)