Community Engagement

Our department offers a variety of programs that work directly with individuals and organizations in the community. Many programs work to educate organizations, businesses, and the public about disability rights and responsibilities.

We also feature programs that directly provide services to individuals with chronic conditions and disabilities to provide support, assessment, training, and access to assistive devices. Our programs are housed in three centers including the UW Center for Technology and Disability (UWCTD), the Center for Continuing Education in Rehabilitation (CCER), and the Neurology Vocational Services (NVS).

UW Center for Technology and Disability (UWCTD)

The UWCTD is an interdisciplinary program within the Institute for Human Development and Disability and the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine in the School of Medicine. UWCTD is an interdisciplinary center focusing on a broad range of issues relevant to people with disabilities. Programs within UWCTD address employment, community engagement, and independent living. Many programs focus on the supportive use of technology. Programs include, the UW Employment Program, the Washington Assistive Technology Act Program, the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (iCanConnect), and the Independent Living for the Blind programs. 

University of Washington Employment Program (UWEP)

The mission of UWEP is to provide resources to individuals with a disability seeking to establish themselves as independent, contributing members of their community. The UWEP provides a wide variety of community-based services for individuals who have a disability and are looking for work, including functional assessments, job development and matching, on the job training, and long-term follow up.

Washington Assistive Technology Act Program (WATAP)

WATAP provides resources and services to persons who face challenges related to disability and aging to help in the selection and use of assistive technology, also known as AT. AT helps make tasks easier or possible in school, at work, at home, and in the community. WATAP serves seniors and persons with disabilities, as well as their circle of support, including family members, caregivers, employers, service provider professionals, educators, and others seeking AT expertise. These individuals can request a demonstration of AT, and if the technology seems useful, they can borrow it to try it in the home or community. WATAP also supports equipment reuse and connects with the Northwest Access Fund for alternative financing for AT.

iCanConnect (National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program)

iCanConnect serves people from a wide range of backgrounds, including older people who have lost their sight and hearing later in life, people with Usher and CHARGE Syndromes, and others with combined significant vision and hearing loss who meet federal income guidelines. The program provides equipment including smartphones, tablets, computers, screen readers, braille displays, and adaptive software. Washington State has the second highest population of deaf blind individuals in the United States. Washington Assistive Technology Act Program (WATAP) collaborates with Perkins School for the Blind to provide iCanConnect services to these individuals. Those interested in applying to the program should contact

Independent Living for the Blind (ILOB)

Independent Living Services is a Washington State Department of Services for the Blind (DSB) program managed through UWCTD. Every year, Independent Living Services provides services to over 1,500 Washington State residents who are losing vision or blind. Independent Living Services empower adults to live independently in their homes and communities. The services are provided at no cost to the client and are designed to help individuals who are visually impaired continue to lead a full life. The program teaches new ways to manage daily tasks safely and independently, provides counseling to help adjust to vision loss and build self-confidence, and creates the chance to be self-sufficient by sharing information about community resources and support services. ILOB uses a network of providers, approved by the DSB, who are located throughout the state. Experienced teachers visit clients in their home, assist clients in making informed choices about goals, and teach clients the new skills needed to achieve those goals.  Once set, goals are usually achieved after three or four visits. The only eligibility requirements are that clients must be Washington State residents, not working or seeking work, and have experienced vision loss or blindness impacting their ability to be independent in any aspect of life.

Find more information through DSB’s website. Contact the DSB at 800-552-7103 or send an inquiry to for more information.

Center for Continuing Education in Rehabilitation (CCER)

CCER offers a wide range of face-to-face workshops, online webinars, training, and consulting to individuals and organizations interested in employment, access, and inclusion for people with disabilities. One of CCER’s many programs is the Accessible Design and Innovation Inclusion Center, which assists businesses as well as local, state, tribal, and federal government agencies to ensure people with disabilities and the aging populations enjoy equal access to employment, programs, and services. CCER also hosts the Northwest ADA Center

Northwest ADA Center (NWADA)

The NWADA is a part of the ADA National Network, a network of 10 centers that provide information, guidance and training on how to implement the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in order to support the mission of the ADA to “assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.” The NWADA is part of CCER, and collaborates with the Center for Technology and Disability.

Neurology Vocational Services (NVS)

NVS, which is located on the HMC campus, has been providing quality job applicants to companies in the Northwest since 1976. The NVS mission is to provide a full range of employment services to individuals living with neurological conditions and to assist them to work and lead productive lives. NVS is a local leader in matching its clients to the Puget Sound Business community’s employment needs. Client populations served include individuals with epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, stroke or other neurological conditions. Since its inception more than 30 years ago, NVS has assisted more than 2,500 people to find and keep meaningful jobs.

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UW Department of Rehabilitation Medicine  
325 Ninth Avenue, Box 359612  
Seattle, WA 98104 | 206.543.3600 

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