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Rehabilitation Engineering Technology (RET) Project

A young boy in a wheelchair uses an electronic communication device


















The Rehabilitation Engineering Technology (RET) Project is a program at SF State that trains graduate students to work with people with disabilities to evaluate and design functional technologies that will help them gain greater independence, attain employment, use computers, and other tools, and enjoy recreational activities. The RET Project also works with the California Department of Rehabilitation and other public and private agencies to provide assistive technology services to approximately 150 people with disabilities in the San Francisco Bay Area each year. In addition, the project provides ergonomics assessments and reasonable accommodations for SF State faculty and staff with disabilities and work-related injuries.


The RET Project partners with ICCE to develop closer links with community organizations, building on its national reputation for innovative design, local service, and leadership in the field of assistive technology.


According to United Nations estimates, “one person in ten—as many as 600 million people worldwide—live with a physical, sensory (deafness, blindness), intellectual, or mental health impairment significant enough to make a difference in their daily lives.”

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) puts that number at 54 million disabled Americans.


Many disabled people, from children to seniors, rely or benefit from assistive technologies (AT) to improve their daily quality of life. AT can be equipment, products, or systems that are used to improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. Examples of AT may include wheelchairs, ramps, railings, specialized keyboards, communication devices, arm and wrist supports, amplified telephone handsets, screen magnifiers, audio devices, or even eye glasses.

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