National Center for Technology Innovation

Assistive Technology Research Matters: A Research Primer

Assistive Technology Research Matters. N C T I and A T I A present a new online resource. Find out how to use and conduct market research to strengthen your market. What are the key elements to a productive and useful research project? Learn from A T industry leaders how they have benefited from their research investment. Watch a series of webinars to get up to speed in 2011. national tech center dot org a t i a A T research page. Sign up for our biweekly Quick Clicks and

NCTI and ATIA have teamed up to develop a research primer for AT developers, manufacturers, and vendors. Both an online guide and a series of webinars with AT industry leaders, these resources will get you up to speed on research in 2011. 

Assistive Technology Research Primer

  • Introduction: Learn about the Primer, what’s inside, and why you should use research.

Research Designs

  • Usability: Learn effective methods of conducting usability studies; see how to integrate research into your design process.
  • Market: Read about key concepts in market research and how to engage current and potential customers.
  • Case Study: Learn about the holistic approach of case study research.
  • Single Subject: Learn about different single subject research designs. This low cost approach to research is often considered the best research design when measuring behavioral change in individuals.
  • Quasi-Experimental: This rigorous design is the next best thing to a true experiment. Learn about different quasi-experimental research designs, and how to conduct the research and analyze its findings.
  • Experimental: This “gold standard” design of research is the most rigorous and resource-intensive. Read about how experimental designs increase internal validity; learn how to collect data and how to interpret these designs.

Key Concepts

  • Validity and Reliability: Read about internal and external validity as well as the reliability of the measures and assessments which will give credibility to your study.
  • Ethics: There are many regulations and best practices to protect study participants as well as researchers; learn the issues.
  • Institutional Review Board (IRB): All projects with federal funding involving human participants need to be approved by an IRB even those without such funding may find it best practice. Learn more.


  • List of RERCs: See a list of where disability and rehabilitation research is being conducted. Sign up for their newsletters or bookmark their pages to stay on top of recent developments.
  • Funding Resources: Research takes resources. Check out these online aggregators of funding sources.
  • How to Work with a Professional Librarian: Get some help! Librarians are there for you; learn to use them and the public databases of research.