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Rehabilitation Research and Development (RR&D)


Rehabilitation Research and Development (RR&D) is a program under the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that focuses on improving the lives and functional abilities of disabled veterans. Through innovative research, the RR&D aims to develop advanced treatments, therapies, and prosthetics for rehabilitation. The goal is to enhance the quality of life, promote independence, and support the reintegration of disabled veterans into society.

Key Takeaways

  1. Rehabilitation Research and Development (RR&D) is a program within the Department of Veterans Affairs that focuses on improving the lives of veterans by supporting research and development efforts aimed at rehabilitating and enhancing their physical, mental, and social well-being.
  2. RR&D encompasses various research areas, including prosthetics, wheelchair technology, regeneration medicine, traumatic brain injury, mental health, and strategies to promote community reintegration.
  3. The program aims to create new technologies, innovative practices, and evidence-based interventions that have a direct impact on the quality of life for veterans with disabilities, thus facilitating their successful transition back to civilian life.


The VA benefits term: Rehabilitation Research and Development (RR&D) is crucial as it represents the multidisciplinary efforts directed towards enhancing the lives of veterans with disabilities.

RR&D focuses on improving the functional capabilities and overall quality of life for veterans by developing innovative rehabilitation techniques, assistive technologies, and adaptive equipment tailored to their specific needs.

This research aims to address and mitigate the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial consequences of disabilities caused by injuries, illnesses, or aging experienced by veterans.

As such, RR&D plays a vital role in advancing medical knowledge, promoting the holistic well-being of veterans, and ensuring they can live dignified, fulfilling lives post-service.


Rehabilitation Research and Development (RR&D) is a program designed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that focuses on improving the quality of life for veterans living with disabilities. The primary purpose of the RR&D program is to enhance the lives of disabled veterans by researching innovative methods and effective treatments that can facilitate their physical, emotional, and cognitive rehabilitation.

This program aims to address crucial rehabilitation issues faced by veterans such as functional independence, community reintegration, and overall well-being. To achieve its objectives, the RR&D program brings together experts in various fields such as medicine, science, and engineering, working in close collaboration to develop advanced rehabilitation technology and identify breakthrough treatment approaches that cater to the unique challenges faced by disabled veterans.

Through the development of prosthetic and assistive devices, therapeutic interventions, and supportive care models, the RR&D program endeavors to empower disabled veterans to achieve optimal autonomy and integration into society. The RR&D also prioritizes sharing this valuable knowledge and innovative solutions with VA healthcare providers and the broader medical community, ensuring that the benefits extend far beyond the veteran community, ultimately enhancing the lives of millions of people living with disabilities around the world.

Examples of Rehabilitation Research and Development (RR&D)

Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) Program: One real-world example of the VA Benefits term Rehabilitation Research and Development (RR&D) is the Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) program. This program provides funding to veterans to make necessary home modifications for disability and rehabilitation purposes. The RR&D has been involved in researching and developing guidelines for home modifications that best suit the needs of disabled veterans, ensuring they can safely navigate their environment to optimize their independence and quality of life.

Wheelchair Development: In the realm of rehabilitation research and development, RR&D has been involved in the development and refinement of wheelchair technology to best serve the needs of veterans with mobility impairments. One example is the ReWalk Robotic Exoskeleton, a wearable robotic device designed to assist people with spinal cord injuries in regaining mobility and independence. The RR&D’s role in such developments is to work with manufacturers, researchers, and multidisciplinary teams to improve the performance, safety, and efficiency of these technologies, making them more accessible and beneficial to disabled veterans.

Prosthetic Innovations: Another significant example of RR&D’s impact on veterans’ rehabilitation is its efforts to advance prosthetic technology for veterans with limb loss. RR&D researchers have been working closely with collaborators in the fields of engineering and medicine to develop advanced prosthetic limbs that offer veterans enhanced functionality and mobility. The LUKE Arm, named after the Star Wars character Luke Skywalker, is one such innovation funded by the RR&D. This prosthetic arm provides veterans with an unprecedented level of dexterity and control, making them more able to engage in daily activities and work towards rehabilitation goals.

Rehabilitation Research and Development (RR&D) FAQ

What is the Rehabilitation Research and Development (RR&D) program?

The Rehabilitation Research and Development (RR&D) program is a part of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) research program. Its main goal is to support and improve the quality of life for veterans with disabilities resulting from illness, injury, or aging by providing state-of-the-art rehabilitation solutions and technologies.

What are the primary focus areas of RR&D research?

The RR&D research covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to prosthetics, orthotics, assistive technology, rehabilitation engineering, sensory aids, cognitive rehabilitation, and mobility aids and devices to improve the lives of disabled veterans.

How does the RR&D collaborate with other research services within the VA?

The RR&D works closely with other VA research services such as the Biomedical Laboratory Research & Development (BLR&D), Health Services Research & Development (HSR&D), and Clinical Science R&D (CSR&D) to ensure veterans receive the best possible care and support by sharing knowledge and resources.

How can I learn more about current RR&D research projects and initiatives?

For the latest information on RR&D research projects and initiatives, visit the VA Office of Research and Development’s website. There, you can explore specific projects, read news and updates, and learn more about funding opportunities.

What resources does the RR&D offer for veterans and their families?

The RR&D provides various resources for veterans and their families, including informational resources, technological innovations, and knowledge-sharing efforts. By collaborating with numerous institutions and partners, the RR&D helps bring the latest rehabilitation technologies and therapies to veterans.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Assistive Technology
  • Prosthetics Research
  • Neurorehabilitation
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Spinal Cord Injury

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