Knowledge Translation

The knowledge translation section of this website contains the major sections dedicated to teaching others who have an interest in wheelchair transportation safety. Our intent is to share research findings and best practices that flow from previous RERC's research activities.

In this section you will find the following resources:

What is Knowledge Translation?

The term knowledge translation (KT) appears most readily in medical and health-care literature and primarily pertains to the assessment, review, and utilization of scientific research. One of the most well-known references for KT hails from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR). CIHR defines KT in this way:

“Knowledge translation is a dynamic and iterative process that includes synthesis, dissemination, exchange and ethically sound application of knowledge to improve the health of Canadians, provide more effective health services and products and strengthen the health care system.” (CIHR, 2008)

Extensive additional information, careful definitions for terms and diagrams of the dynamic process of knowledge translation can be found on the CIHR website.

The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), the past source of the funding for the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Wheelchair Transportation Safety (RERC WTS) adopted this concept. NIDRR is keen on seeing their investment in research and development yield maximum benefits in the lives of individuals with disabilities (Tingus et al., 2004).

NIDRR sees the value of knowledge translation as:

Facilitating the effective use of NIDRR-sponsored research results in shaping new technologies, improving service delivery, and expanding decision-making options for people with disabilities.

NIDRR has made a strong commitment to improving the effectiveness and supporting the implementation of knowledge translation. NIDRR, in cooperation with the National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research (NCDDR), its grantee, has compiled and developed extensive web resources on KT. KT principles were used in planning the research and the output elements of the RERC. Our targeted outcomes for KT are increased:

  • knowledge of the principles of transportation safety leading to the inclusion of wheelchair transportation standards into regulations and practices.

  • understanding of the need for using transit safety technologies and procedures that are appropriate to the travel environment by translating research findings into reasons for changing transportation practices.

  • awareness, availability, and use of transit safety technology standards, in the manufacture of wheelchair seating and mobility products.


CIHR. (2004). Knowledge translation strategy 2004-2009: Innovation in action. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Tingus, S. J., Berland, B. J., Myklebust, J., Sherwood, A. (2004, August). NIDRR long-range planning update for KDU. Paper presented at the Knowledge Dissemination and Utilization Projects Meeting: Translating Disability Research into Practice, Pentagon City, VA.