Assistant Professor Frank Lane discovered a startling fact about many community rehabilitation programs in the Chicago area: they are in critical need of human service personnel with baccalaureate degrees. With information obtained through a survey of some 200 local programs as well as information on the well-documented need for master's-level rehabilitation counselors across the United States, Lane secured a five-year training grant for $375,000 from the United States Department of Education. The award allows IIT students to pursue either a rehabilitation services minor as part of their baccalaureate education or a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling that will prepare them for national certification and counselor licensure in Illinois.
Lane's research focuses on issues related to physical and attitudinal barriers that prevent full participation in society by people with disabilities. An alarming 45 percent of all assistive technology (hearing aids, wheelchairs, etc.) purchased for persons with disabilities is abandoned within the first year. Lane received a five-year training grant from the United States Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration, in the amount of $497,500 to train graduate students and practitioners on rehabilitation engineering technology (RET) for persons with disabilities. The curriculum includes students learning the Matching Person and Technology system that was designed by Marcia Scherer to match persons with disabilities with appropriate assistive technology to maximize their independence and minimize abandonment of assistive technology. The series of three courses for the RET certificate is taught jointly by Lane and Janet Bischoff-Rosario, an occupational therapist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. The courses are offered at a distance, allowing students from anywhere in the United States to earn the certificate.