About Us

R₂D₂ Center Mission and History

The R2D2 Center performs interdisciplinary basic research investigations, applied research and development, and innovative instruction related to technology and disability.

The Center was established in the College of Health Sciences as the Center for Rehabilitation Sciences and Technology (CRST). The Center’s name was changed to the Rehabilitation Research Design and Disability (R2D2) Center in November 2003 to more accurately describe the Center’s overall activities.

The R2D2 Center affiliates with multiple colleges, schools, and service programs in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Currently, key linkages exist with the Department of Occupational Sciences and Technology in the College of Health Sciences, Teaching and Learning in the School of Education, the School of Architecture and Urban Planning, and campus programs including the Accessibility Resource Center, University Information Technology Services, and Campus Planning and Management.


The R2D2 Center is directed by Dr. Roger O. Smith. Dr. Brooke Slavens, Nathan Spaeth and Michelle Silverman serve as members of the R2D2 Management Team.


  • National Institute for Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), Administration on Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Office of Special Education Programs, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, U.S. Department of Education
  • Fred Sammons Family Foundation
  • UW-Milwaukee cost reimbursement accounts