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Improving lives through technology

Individuals with disabilities and their families face significant hurdles to quality of life and independence. The Life Quality Solutions Incubator at the Center for Disability Services (LQSI) began in 2018 as an effort to further pursue the Center’s mission to make life better for those with disabilities.

LQSI is the research and development arm of the Center, focused on applied research and product development. Projects include practical tools and products that provide comfort and enable individuals with disabilities and the aging to experience and achieve more in life.

Located in Watervliet, New York, the incubator’s prototyping and fabrication facility is staffed by engineers, fellows, and volunteers. The group of individuals who spend time conducting research and developing products aligned to the incubator’s mission includes students and engineering fellows from Capital Region research institutes.

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Tools for Better Overall Health

Oral hygiene has a direct connection to better overall health, but some individuals with disabilities struggle with teeth brushing. It’s one of several areas where a seemingly small problem can seriously impact an individual’s life.

LQSI’s solution enables caregivers to properly address oral hygiene, with a toothbrush designed to be used by a caregiver.

Relieving the Discomfort of Adaptive Living

Pressure ulcers – also known as bed sores – are a serious problem for individuals who use a wheelchair or have restricted mobility. 

LQSI’s innovations aim at increasing comfort and supporting health.

 

Bringing Accessibility Within Closer Reach

For an individual with a disability, obstacles to inclusion and accessibility exist everywhere. While the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has led to increased accessibility in public spaces, a wheelchair user can never know when they might encounter a non-accessible door handle.
LQSI is developing a solution that empowers individuals with limited mobility to open non-accessible doors, and to break down even more barriers to inclusion

 

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Local Incubation, Global Application

As a unique partnership between the Center and research faculty, scientists, and student fellows, LQSI is building a legacy of education and disability innovation. While the Incubator is entirely separate from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the foundation of the program grew from efforts in the institute’s Biomedical Engineering program.

With the creation of LQSI, the Center can draw from engineering and other technical talents from several area institutions in addition to those at Rensselaer, including Union College, the University at Albany, SUNY Polytechnic, and others. Post-graduate students manage these projects, which allows for greater continuity and advancement for projects with potential. 

Untapped Potential for Even Greater Quality of Life Through High-Impact Giving

The exciting products and solutions developed by LQSI are just the beginning. The products under development are practical, not academic. Through innovation that touches lives, LQSI is blazing a path for a brighter future for millions.

In the past, students had worked on developing assistive and other medical products, but these projects primarily served an educational function. Projects would get attention from September to May, but there were no resources to move research and development forward.

You can help the Center address the unmet local and global need for assistive technology, and help drive innovation and education further for a better, more accessible future full of promise.