The Tetradapt Initiative Represents a Paradigm Shift
research & development
research & development
Innovation Through Collaboration
The University of Utah Rehabilitation Center partners with University of Utah Colleges of Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Architecture and Planning, Business, and Health to design cutting-edge technology and provide essential programs that improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities.
Our diverse, interdisciplinary team takes a big-picture approach to address technology needs and issues that may impact success, such as cost, training, independence, distribution, function, performance and sustainability.
In addition to students, staff, and faculty, participants with disabilities are an integral part of the team and play an active role in developing our project priorities.
√ TetraSki, the world's first independent alpine sit-ski for any physical disability.
√ Accessible, electric-powered watercraft for sailing and kayaking.
√ A powered, accessible floating platform to facilitate safe participant transfer in and out of watercraft and/or the water.
Testing & Training
TESTING & TRAINING
Founded in 2001, Technology Recreation Access Independence Lifestyle and Sports (TRAILS) is a University of Utah Rehabilitation Center community program focused on the recreation, socialization, and education needs of individuals with complex physical disabilities.
TRAILS was designed by a team of rehabilitation professionals to serve as part of a long-term rehabilitation plan. TRAILS aims to maximize physical and mental health by focusing on year-around activities that participants can incorporate into a daily, active lifestyle.
Activities are always free and run five to six days a week in the Greater Salt Lake area. We encourage family members, friends, and caregivers to participate and to receive training as well. Paralympic gold medalist Tanja Kari is the TRAILS program director.
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√ cross country skiing
√ alpine skiing
√ cycling (road and mountain)
√ gym-based wellness
√ wheelchair tennis
There is a competitive emphasis on cross country skiing, handcycling and wheelchair tennis.
TRAILS FOR VETERANS
The TRAILS program serves any and all injured veterans and injured service members, with a special focus on the unique needs of those with complex physical disabilities. The program has been a partner of the George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center since 2009, and in 2017-18 the program expanded nationally, collaborating with the Colorado VA for instructor and client clinics at Ski Spectacular and the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Club.
TESTING & TRAINING ON EQUIPMENT
Adaptive sports and recreation technology developed by the University of Utah Rehabilitation Research and Development Team is extensively tested by TRAILS staff who design all of the safety and training protocols for devices prior to distribution.
TRAILS is the official trainer for devices distributed by Tetradapt Community.
BUILDING & Sharing
building & SHARING
Tetradapt Community is a nonprofit entity that builds, distributes and services novel assistive technologies, which enable people with complex physical disabilities to have more independent control over their daily activities.
For years, there has been limited progress in bringing new technology to the disabled community, until recently.
The University of Utah Rehabilitation Center was fortunate to receive grant support in 2015 from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation to organize a bold assistive technology initiative: the formation of a team of great minds including rehabilitation professionals, mechanical engineers and computer scientists, to solve complex problems.
The goal? Design, build and test a new generation of assistive technologies that offered a much greater degree of independence and dynamic control.
The TetraSki, the world's first independent alpine sit-ski for any physical disability, is the initial product that resulted from this cross-campus technology initiative and is entering its second winter of national distribution.
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Tetradapt Community is focused on lowering the cost of entry for people with disabilities to use and/or acquire advanced technologies. The nonprofit operates with extremely low overhead through space-sharing with the University of Utah, minimal staff, the involvement of university students and volunteers, and through a partnership with the university’s adaptive recreation program, TRAILS, to provide client and staff training.
Tetradapt Community’s primary activities include:
Novel assistive technology developed at the University of Utah is assembled and tested in Salt Lake City. Tetradapt Community partners with the University of Utah’s adaptive recreation program TRAILS to share space and training resources. Volunteer University of Utah students and staff assist in product construction as part their community service obligations or as an adjunct to their academic commitments.
This technology, currently developed at the University of Utah, is leased or loaned through a subsidy model that maximizes availability to people and programs demonstrating need. Tetradapt Community ships products and trains and certifies instructors and/or users on the technology.
The nonprofit provides service and support for all technology that it builds and distributes. Tetradapt Community ships entire devices or spare parts to participating individuals and programs. Phone and email support also is available.
Tetradapt Community offers opportunities for university students to observe or participate in its activities to improve general disability awareness and increase knowledge of advanced assistive technology and performance improvements for individuals with disabilities. Students are provided with disability-related classes and shadowing or one-on-one mentoring with nonprofit staff.
Tetradapt Community is funded through government grants, corporate grants, foundation grants and private donations.