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Posted By Angelika Kudla

What is technical assistance (TA)?


A technical assistance consultation and help desk is available, to provide information and resources related to employment of people with physical disabilities, training, and outcome measures, to people with disabilities, service providers, consumer advocates, employers, researchers, educators, students, and clinicians.

How can I get technical assistance?


For consult or more information about employment for people with physical disabilities, contact us at: 

Technical Assistance Highlights:


As of May 31, 2023, the Rehabilitation Research  and Training Center has responded to 214 technical assistance requests.

The majority of technical assistant requests are related to outcome measures listed in the Rehabilitation Measures Database. The RMD includes 542 instrument summaries, 32 of which are employment focused. Requests are received from universities and service providers from around the world. Collaborations include Colorado State University, Columbia University and medical students completing their PM&R and Neurology rotations at Rush University and George Washington University. 

Consultations provided include:


  • Information on job placement services was shared. See FAQs for more details.
  • Ongoing requests to use the Community Participation Indicators measures. See FAQs for more details.
  • Ongoing requests to use the OPUS instrument. See FAQs for more details.
  • PI, Dr. Allen Heinemann provided resources on the Community Participation Indicators instrument to an occupational therapy educator, University of Illinois at Chicago, Depts. of Occupational Therapy and Disability & Human Development.
  • Dr. Heinemann approved the Australian Orthotic Prosthetic Association (AOPA) to use the OPUS–CSS module in an electronic format for a nation-wide consumer experience program.
  • Dr. Allen Heinemann met with a mechanical engineer from the Riken Center for Brain Science.
  • Presentation and consultation with two NIDILRR-funded projects (ACCESS for Aging Well) and (Work ACCESS addressing accommodations).


Presentations and Training provided include:


  • Presentation at Disability:IN Utah, sent Spanish version of their computer resource for Parkinson’s to the Parkinson Foundation, and social worker’s YOPD Support Group.
  • Vocational rehabilitation and employment training to the Bridges School to Work Marriot Foundation
  • Presentation at Brian Grant Foundation, at Parkinson’s Foundation Greater Illinois and consulted on Parkinson’s disease at Illinois Institute of Illinois.
  • Presentation at the Parkinson’s disease Foundation Expert Briefing on Employment.
  • Presentation and consultation with two NIDILRR-funded projects (ACCESS for Aging Well) and (Work ACCESS addressing accommodations).
  • The RRTC provided training to vocational rehabilitation counselors about specific physical disabilities.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):


Q: Is there a program or service that helps with job placements?


Q: I would like to measure patients experiences with an exoskeleton (made in Turkey). May I kindly ask your permission for using the Orthotics Prosthetics User Survey (OPUS) questionnaire? 


Thank you for your interest in the Orthotics Prosthetics User Survey (OPUS). I am happy to have you use OPUS for your clinical and research needs without charge. In exchange, I would appreciate acknowledgement by including the copyright symbol on each form and your feedback on the utility of OPUS and information on how you have used it. We report this information to our funding agency, the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research in anonymous form. If you change the items, don’t call the form “OPUS.”

Click the RMD link below for the OPUS modules including:

  1. Clinician survey
  2. Upper Extremity Function
  3. Lower Extremity Function
  4. Quality of Life
  5. Satisfaction with Device and Services

The forms are organized by module. The functional status and quality of life modules are intended for use at intake, device delivery and follow-up (typically 2 months). The satisfaction module is intended for use at device delivery and follow-up; separate device and service satisfaction scores are computed from this module. Also attached is a scoring guide; the guide is based on data collected through 2010. Because OPUS upper extremity modules has undergone recent revision, we do not yet have a large enough sample to calculate new norms for all the items. Use only the items listed on the scoring guide when computing a score. We will revise the scoring guide once we have additional data. We would be glad to include any data you collect in a new sample.

Q: Is there someone you could recommend that I could reach out to for a quick tutorial on how to score the CPI assessment?


Yes, the Community Participation Indicators is a great assessment and we would be happy to provide more information and a tutorial on how to score the assessment. We will reach out with some times, in the meantime please view the RMD webpage for more information:


Q: Can you give me permission to use certain measures in my research studies?


The RMD contains a compilation of the data available in the scientific literature regarding certain standardized assessments used in physical rehabilitation. That being said, the RMD does not own rights to the instruments summarized on the website. We do not have permission to provide licensing or usage agreements. We suggest contacting the instrument authors and/or publishers directly to obtain this information.


Q: Are the measures on the RMD available in other languages? How do I request a language translation?


If the standardized assessments posted on the RMD are available in other languages, we try to include that information in the “Considerations” or “Key Information” sections. When we report psychometric data about translated versions of these measures, we state the language specifications in the sample description above the reported data. The RMD team does not have the ability to translate measures or provide translated versions of the measures that exist. We recommend contacting the instrument owners directly for permission to translate. We also suggest using our full references listed at the bottom of each RMD webpage to find the original source of any language translations reported.


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