One of Dennis Tomashek’s interests is assessing the accessibility of students’ educational experiences on post-secondary education campuses. This connects to his background in education and educational psychology. He is also currently working with Roger O. Smith on the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) funded Access of Buildings-Rating (AR-B) grant to develop an app for handheld devices which will allow users to search the accessibility of a particular building or business or enter data about an accessibility problem they have encountered.
Another research area is the role of multifocal glasses on the gait of users and their role in increasing fall risk which began with the R2D2 Center’s NIDRR-funded BIFOCAL Grant. Currently he is working with students in the College’s Department of Occupational Science & Technology (OS&T) and Kurt Beschorner (UWM Department of Materials Engineering) on developing a valid tool for clinicians to assess patients who are potentially at higher risk for falling when wearing multifocal lens eyeglasses, and studying the effects of these glasses on people with Parkinson’s Disease.
In the past, he has worked as a statistician with Mark V. Johnston (OS&T) on the NIDRR funded Adverse Outcomes grant, which employed a large patient database from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), examining the variables which lead to increased rehospitalization and mortality.
He also teaches evidence-based practice courses in OS&T with Inga Wang and Carol Haertlein-Sells. He hopes to continue to increase knowledge in the field of research methodology in health care, especially for low-incidence populations and for people with disabilities for whom standard testing protocols and statistical methods are not practical.