In 2010 RESPECT and the Daughters of Charity Service established the Daughters of Charity Technology, Research into Disability known as DOCTRID Research Institute. The DOCTRID Research Institute is a unique partnership made up of all of the universities on the island of Ireland, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin and Tralee Institutes of Technology – and the US universities Michigan State University and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
One of the major projects being coordinated by the DOCTRID Research Institute is the ASSISTID EU programme which researches the role assistive technology can play in improving the lives of those with intellectual disability and autism. ASSISTID is the first and largest programme of its kind in Europe and will train experienced researchers in the skills necessary to make a difference in the lives of people with intellectual disability and autism through improved communication, social inclusion and education. Early collaborations are already showing great potential.
ASSISTID brings scientists and health care professionals together with people with intellectual disability and autism and their carers and families to develop technology solutions to enable people with disabilities to communicate, learn, work, play, and function more easily in the world. Projects will begin in spring 2015 when 20 Research Fellows will be recruited, with a further 20 fellows recruited in May 2016.