DRICS Lab Projects

Current Projects


The overarching goal of the Investigating Disability factors and promoting Environmental Access for Healthy Living RRTC (IDEAL RRTC) is to promote the healthy aging of adults with long-term physical impairments and disabilities. This will be achieved by identifying factors at the intersection of the person and environment that impede or support positive health and function outcomes and creating solutions that improve the fit between the two.


Man with SCI and his physician

The objective of this project is to association between executive functioning (and its various components) and health self-management behaviors of adults with traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI). Individual assessments will be conducted virtually with 75 adults with traumatic SCI to measure cognitive ability, including executive functioning, and gather self-report data related to health management behaviors and health, participation and quality of life outcomes. We will then analyze the data to determine relationships between the variables of interest.  This information will be used to support future research in the area as well as to design or modify interventions to enhance self-management skills and optimize health outcomes for individuals with traumatic SCI.


TIKTOC, or the Technology Increasing Knowledge; Technology Optimizing Choice, was a collaboration of clinicians and researchers. This interdisciplinary group is currently conducting research that will inform the development of innovative technology. The advancement of this technology will focus on health and independence for teenagers and young adults with physical, cognitive, and neurodevelopmental disabilities. The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) was designed to bring areas of expertise together.

SCI Hard Logo

SCI-Hard is a mobile app that puts you, the player, in the chair of someone with a Spinal Cord Injury. Introducing you to new challenges and obstacles all while trying to save the world from legions of mutated animals.

You wake from an accident into a new world with new challenges, new threats, and some guy with a huge head. It's a strange world. One filled with senile grandparents, animals with shrunken green heads, and looming ominous music. You must build your strength, stay fit, defend your stuff, and investigate the strange happenings in the small town of Unnamed, USA.

With more than 30 different scenarios and mini-games, a full cast of odd characters to talk with, and dozens of collectible items and weapons only you can save the town from impending doom. SCI Hard puts you, the player, in the chair of someone with a Spinal Cord Injury. Introducing you to new challenges and obstacles all while trying to save the world from legions of mutated animals. Join the fight and kick a** while sitting down!

The SCI Hard app is available for download on the Apple iTunes store and Google Play. Use Code 1704.

Open toolbox containing tools

Health Mechanics is a program designed to teach individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) the skills that will help them to keep their bodies healthy and to manage their life given their physical impairments. 

wheelchair in michigan logo

Cognitions, Decisions and Behaviors Related to Successful Adjustment among Individuals with SCI: A Qualitative Examination of Military and Nonmilitary Personnel

Numerous examples exist of individuals who have adjusted to their SCI, found ways to manage their health, and gotten on with their lives. Moreover, for some of these individuals, the injury has been identified as a transformative experience that has provided a reason to change, a sense of purpose, or which served to forge individual strengths and relationships. Advancements in the fields of positive psychology and behavioral medicine can be used to inform our understanding of how individuals with SCI can be happy and productive.