Wayne State University

WSU press event to launch online initiative for the disabled

DETROIT - A new Web-based initiative designed to identify and solve problems in rehabilitation, health care and daily living for people with disabilities will combine the efforts of Wayne State University's College of Engineering (COE) and School of Medicine, the Detroit Medical Center's Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM), and Urban Science, a global automotive retail consulting firm.

Representatives from the partnering entities will meet at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 16, to sign an agreement to launch lifebeyondbarriers.com (LBB). The group will include Hilary Ratner, Wayne State's vice president for research; WSU Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Ronald Brown; COE Dean Farshad Fotouhi; Urban Science President Jim Anderson; William H. Restum, president of RIM; Scott Millis, professor of WSU physical medicine and rehabilitation and RIM's director of research; Gary McCann, director of business development for RIM; Katora Cole, COE development director; and David Ripple, WSU vice president of development and alumni affairs. The signing ceremony will take place in Room 4339 of WSU's Faculty/Administration Building, 656 W. Kirby Ave.

Officials say LBB will provide a medium for gathering and analyzing data from consumers, health care workers and other market sectors, automatically filtering and categorizing it and then generating solutions through a network of experts and provided as resources, referrals or even new product inventions. They also say the website will provide industry feedback for best practices, customer satisfaction, quality assurance and consumer demand.

Additional collaborations with the West Point Society and the Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America will enable LBB to reach more people who are seeking solutions to everyday challenges, while providing greater access to a network of experts who can offer those solutions.

LBB also will provide scholarships particularly for disabled students and veterans to enable them to study engineering at WSU. Anderson, a WSU alumnus, already has established a $1 million scholarship in honor of U.S. Army Lt. Col. Greg Gadson, who lost use of both legs and normal use of his right arm and hand after being injured in Iraq by an improvised explosive device.

For more information or to arrange to attend the signing ceremony, call 313-577-5600.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research university offering more than 400 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 32,000 students.