Night time shot of Lied Library, with Las Vegas Strip in background.

UNLV is Engineering the Future

We are solving today's problems with tomorrow's technology. At UNLV we are making the world more accessible for everyone.


Our research is trans-disciplinary, a convergence of medicine and engineering, to develop next-generation assistive technology. We believe in reaching individuals with disabilities directly, to better inform our design. Working closely with the community is also essential to our success.

Read more about our current and future plans.


What is assistive technology (AT)?

  • Assistive technology (AT) makes it possible for individuals with disabilities to take part in life’s activities, at home, school, work, and in the community.
  • It strengthens developmental, functional, and learning skills.
  • It can substitute for abilities that a person may not be able to develop.
  • For instance, a person may not have use of his or her voice, but AT can allow someone to communicate thoughts, wants, and needs.
  • Assistive technology includes a wide range of tools, from a simple, low-tech device such as a magnifying glass, to a complex, high-tech device, such as a computerized communication system.
Source: Assistive Technology 101 (2018), Center on Technology and Disability. Retrieved April 30, 2018, from
Diagram of Intelligent Communication System, using sensors
Intelligent Communication System

Machine-Based Learning

Recent research has demonstrated that people with profound intellectual disabilities (ID) are able to participate in meaningful communication with the use of a communication partner, such as a direct caregiver. To foster greater independence and self-determination in individuals with severe and profound intellectual disabilities, the UNLV College of Engineering and UNLV School of Medicine have collaborated to create a nonverbal toolkit of expressions that can be translated into words.