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About the R2D2 Center

Mission & History

The R2D2 Center performs interdisciplinary basic research investigations, applied research and development, and innovative instruction related to technology and disability.

The Center was established in the College of Health Sciences as the Center for Rehabilitation Sciences and Technology (CRST). The Center's name was changed to the Rehabilitation Research Design & Disability (R2D2) Center in November 2003 to more accurately describe the Center's overall activities.

The R2D2 Center affiliates with multiple colleges, schools, and service programs in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Currently, key linkages exist with the Departments of Occupational Therapy and Health Sciences in the College of Health Sciences, the Department of Exceptional Education in the School of Education, the School of Architecture and Urban Planning, and components of the campus UITS, SAC, and Human Movement Sciences.


The R2D2 Center is directed by Dr. Roger O. Smith. Dr. Dave Edyburn serves as Director of Training and Dissemination. Aura Hirschman, Dennis Tomashek and Keith Edyburn serve as members of the R2D2 Management Team.


  • National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)
  • Milwaukee Idea - Campus Design Solutions - University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • NIDRR, via Marquette University subcontract
  • UW-Milwaukee cost reimbursement accounts
  • Research Growth Initiative UWM

Center Partners (Past and Present)

  • Attorney Steven Mendelsohn (New York)
  • Helen Hayes Hospital (New York)
  • Marquette University (Milwaukee)
  • Milwaukee Idea - Campus Design Solutions
  • Ohio Department of Education
  • University at Buffalo
  • University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
  • University of Wisconsin-Stout
  • Warren & Associates (Seattle)
  • Mersericordia University (Pennsylvania)
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • University of Wisconsin-Platteville
  • Medical College of Wisconsin Robotics
  • Layton Boulevard West Neighbors (Milwaukee)
  • St. Mary's Hospital (Madison)
  • Independence First

Website Accessibility Statement

The Rehabilitation Research Design & Disability Center (R2D2) Center Universal Design Philosophy and Procedure: Web accessibility is important to us. Even more, we believe in universal design so all users can access the site.

Since this site was launched in 2003, we have refined and improved our methods of creating accessible web content. Therefore, some sections of the site may implement accessibility features differently.

We welcome feedback and ideas to help make our site more accessible and usable for everyone. We invite all visitors to provide feedback when the site does not function as hoped. Feedback may be provided by email at, or call our office at 414-229-6803 or TTY-414-229-5628.