Auburn’s Center for Disability Research and Service to hold grand opening

AUBURN – Auburn University’s newly created Center for Disability Research and Service will hold a grand opening on Friday, Aug. 27, from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Dawson Building, 215 S. Donahue Drive. Visitors will be able to learn about the innovations, resources and expertise available through the center to improve the lives of persons with disabilities. The center is an extension of the College of Education’s Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, Counseling/School Psychology.

The center will serve as a research hub for autism and will conduct research on the most significant disabilities relative to gaining access to education, employment, housing, transportation, health care and leisure.

Department head E. Davis Martin said the center’s multifaceted nature will enable it to provide meaningful assistance to individuals with significant disabilities as they seek to live independently and realize their career and educational goals.

“We’re trying to develop a model that will allow us to better assist those with the most significant disabilities to work, live and play in the communities of their choice,” Martin said.

Martin also said the center will strive to build a national reputation for advancement in each of the fields it serves, and will be interdisciplinary in nature with many of its research and service activities to include counseling, kinesiology, speech, psychology and human services.

During the grand opening, faculty and staff will share information about recent projects with visitors. Research conducted during the recent Summer Program for Students with Disabilities focused on using the Apple iPad to meet the communications needs of children with autism and development disabilities who possess limited language skills.

The center will also maintain a partnership with the university’s Department of Industrial Design to develop innovative technology that addresses the needs of persons with disabilities while simultaneously developing ideas that benefit everyone through universal design. It has contracted with the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services to conduct consumer satisfaction surveys and needs assessments, which will enhance the services provided to Alabama citizens with disabilities.

Contact: Troy Johnson (334) 844-4468, (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (