Since 1987, the UMass Dartmouth Center for Rehabilitation Engineering (CRE) has been opening doors to communication for persons with various types of disabilities such as cerebral palsy, Lou Gehrig's disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Most of the CRE's innovations include computers customized to augment clients' physical abilities. These include computers that clients can operate using hand or finger controls; can trigger by foot or leg motion; or can operate by mouth or head motion. There are users who can even control their individualized systems by raising or lowering their eyebrows. These computers can be configured to type letters using customized word and sentence lists; speak using voice synthesizers; and print. Many clients are using their computer systems for communication, increased independence, enhancing educational opportunities, and entering the work force.
The non-profit organization, the SHARE Foundation, Inc., which supports the work of the Center, often donates needed systems free of charge to those who cannot afford them or are unable to find other financial support. This is possible thanks to the dedicated and caring supporters whose generosity fuels the SHARE Foundation.
The SHARE Foundation, Inc.
The Society for Human Advancement through Rehabilitation Engineering Foundation, Incorporated (SHARE Foundation, Inc.) is the fund-raising arm for the CRE. Throughout the years, SHARE has raised ten of thousands of dollars through fund-raising events such as concerts, golf tournaments, and walk-a-thons. These efforts make it possible for CRE to provide services and needed equipment to many more persons with disabling conditions.
The CRE has many dedicated volunteers, many of whom are UMass Dartmouth students and faculty members. They spend countless hours creating systems, showing clients how to use them, and organizing fund-raising events. New concepts are enabling disabled persons across the nation and around the world to lead more normal lives. Both the CRE and SHARE have gained national recognition and received numerous awards, including one from President Ronald Reagan.
For an application for equipment, go to our Get Help page.