2021 Call for Scientific Papers

RESNA 2021 Virtual Conference 
July 7-9, 2021

Scientific Paper
Submission Instructions

Deadline Extended:  Monday, 15 March 2021, 11:59pm ET - Closed


RESNA accepts Scientific Papers each year for presentation at the RESNA Annual Conference.  Submit your paper through the online Scientific Paper submission process. The on-line submission system will be open as of Monday,  9 November 2020 at 12pm noon ET.

Your submission will be reviewed and scored by a panel of reviewers who are experts in area(s) relevant to its topic.

Presentation of Accepted Papers
Authors of accepted Scientific Papers will be expected to present their work at the RESNA conference. Conference organizers will assign accepted papers to either a 15-minute platform presentation or an interactive poster session. 

Publication Options
Accepted scientific papers will be posted on RESNA’s website and will be publicly available as part of our Conference Proceedings. The abstracts of accepted papers will also be published in an issue of RESNA’s Assistive Technology Journal.

Authors may select between online publication of their full paper as submitted or a shorter abstract in the Conference Proceedings. The abstract-only option is ONLY for authors who plan future submission to scholarly journals and wish to avoid strict restrictions on "prior publication" established by some journals (e.g., Archives of PM&R and some medical journals).

  • All authors considering the abstract-only publication option should investigate the requirements of their targeted journal.
  • Authors who wish to submit their paper to RESNA's Assistive Technology Journal do not need to limit their publication to an abstract, as the conference proceedings is not considered to be prior publication by the Journal editors.

Click here to download the Scientific Paper Author Instructions.


Papers must be submitted online via the RESNA Scientifc Paper Submission CMT Site no later than 11:59 pm ET Monday, 15 March 2021. - Closed


Authors must classify their papers as one of the following types:

  • (RE) - Research:  Scholarly or scientific investigation and inquiry into rehabilitation technology-related issues. Research papers should be hypothesis-driven and should explore, through methodical investigation, a specific research question. Concrete results and discussion should follow. The paper and the subsequent presentation must include an implication section, which highlights how the research informs practice, policy, and/or technology development as relevant.
  • (PR) - Practice:  Practice papers may include an actual case study or single event, documenting background of problem, options for intervention, resolution, and costs. A practice paper may also report on the feasibility, design, or modification of a device, method, or system for future research or for commercialization purposes. Practice papers are generally not formal hypothesis-driven papers. However, the paper and the subsequent presentation must include an implication section highlighting future research, public policies, and/or technology development that may strengthen the practice. 
  • (PP) - Public Policy: Report on legislation, reimbursement, service delivery programs and administration, Tech Act projects, technology transfer, remote delivery, AT Education, distance learning, advocacy efforts, credentialing, etc. Presenters need to emphasize the implications of the public policy on practice, research, and / or technology development as relevant. 


Authors must classify the scope and content of their papers into one of the following topic areas:

New Topic Areas:
In keeping with the conference theme, “Welcome Home”, RESNA is encouraging session proposals in the following topic areas:

SHO     Smart Home Technologies
e.g, the use of consumer smart home technologies such as home automation, virtual assistants, IOT (Internet of Things) appliances and other technologies to adapt and assist people with disabilities in the home.

HMD     Home Modifications
Technologies, modifications, accessibility, etc. specifically related to supporting living in the home; this can be for any age group.

Traditional Topic Areas:

ACT      Access and Communication Technology
e.g. computer/Computing Access and Use:  innovation in software and hardware; training strategies; integration of computer/computing technologies; alternative access; outcomes measurement.

AAC     Augmentative & Alternative Communication.  
e.g. augmentative and Alternative Communication: Assessment and intervention strategies; language representation techniques; clinical/technical; AAC research and developments; funding issues; service delivery options, outcomes measurement.

AGE     Aging
e.g. t
echnologies, interventions, policy, etc. specifically related to supporting aging.

AV        Autonomous Vehicles
e.g. technology, policy, and standards for autonomous vehicles with benefit people with disabilities.

COG     Cognitive and Sensory Impairments
e.g. cognitive disabilities; learning disabilities; developmental disabilities; cognitive rehabilitation and aids to memory; low vision/blindness; hearing impairment.

ETH      Ethics
e.g., real world examples of RESNA’s Standards of Practice; ethics of Assistive Technology for cognitive impairment; AI, machine learning and ethics

INT       Technologies for Less Resourced Areas
e.g. providing services or conducting research relative to Assistive Technology in developing countries and other resource-limited environments.

JEA      Job & Environmental Accommodation – including Ergonomics
e.g. access to employment, education, or built environments; ergonomics; farming and other rural interventions; EADL systems; universal design of products, places & systems; liability and legal issues associated with home access and workplace modifications. 

K12      K - 12 Practice
Efforts to improve access to quality AT services within the school setting. Tools, techniques, research, or applications which facilitate the promotion and improvement of assistive technology practice in the primary and secondary school setting.

NEW    Emerging Technology
emerging technologies and innovations with the potential to improve the health, employment, community participation, and education of people with disability or aging. This is primarily for new technology not yet on the market or a new application of technology.

OUT     Service Delivery, Outcomes, & Measurement
e.g. service delivery programs and administration; remote service delivery; models, challenges, funding, and best practices; ethics for practitioners
e.g. outcomes measurement tools, application, importance, practice
e.g. measuring/quantifying function; documenting change in performance; testing validity and reliability of measurement instruments.

PP        Public Policy and Advocacy
e.g., legislation; credentialing and certification; advocacy for AT funding; access to services; nation-wide or model programs 

SM       Seating and Mobility – Including Complex Rehab Technology (CRT)
e.g., seating and wheelchair interventions; transportation issues; vehicle modifications; user training; wheelchair features and client/diagnosis matching; objective tests; custom vs. off-the-shelf solutions; 24/7 postural support; documentation and outcome measures for funding approval, mobility issues over a lifespan.

OTH     Other


Each paper will be reviewed according to the criteria listed below:

Abstract/Background/Statement of Problem or Research Question
Does the Abstract concisely describe the content of this paper? Is the Statement of the Problem or Objective clear? Is the end user’s need clearly identified? Does the background information support the need for this study/development/policy issue? Is reference to previous work delineated clearly (if appropriate)?

Methods/Approach/Solutions Considered  
If a research paper, are the methods clearly described and appropriate for achieving the stated objective? Is the research design appropriate and does it respond to the stated needs? If a practice or policy paper, are current methods or technologies considered? Are the solutions consistent with current clinical/design practice? Are methods to address the end user’s need adequately addressed? If applicable, have alternate methods to address the needs been presented/explored? 

Evaluation/Results/Resolution/Discussion/Outcome/Performance & Cost/Implications 
**May not be applicable for all Public Policy submissions

If a research paper, are results well documented, valid, and reliable? Are appropriate statistics used? If a practice paper, was an evaluation attempted? Do results/conclusions address wider use of the new device/methods/information gained? If design related, are appropriate design details and analysis presented? For all, are the conclusions/implications reasonable? Does the discussion demonstrate how the model/policy/solution/device addresses the issue? Is the discussion consistent and relevant to the needs described in the Problem Statement/Objective?

Overall Quality of Presentation
Is the paper understandable and well organized? Are the flow of information and development of ideas presented in a logical and easy-to-follow fashion? Are the grammar and spelling correct? Are the figures and figure legends clear? Are appropriate references provided (when relevant)?

Subject matter is timely and appropriate to the RESNA audience
Is the paper appropriate for the designated topic area? Is the content noteworthy? Will this paper add to the existing knowledge in the field? Is there sufficient detail for an out-of-field observer to follow the presentation? Does this paper provide a foundation for future work? Are relevant implications clearly stated in accordance to the type of scientific paper?


Authors should receive notification indicating acceptance or rejection by 15 March 2021. The most common reasons for paper rejection include:

  1. Failure to follow formatting and submission guidelines;
  2. Falling outside the areas of interest/expertise of the RESNA audience;
  3. Having a seriously flawed approach to conducting the work reported;
  4. Failing to substantiate the claims made in the submission;
  5. Incomplete in methodology, results, or documentation;
  6. Previously submitted or published; or
  7. Numerous grammatical errors or failure to adequately proofread.


The following guidelines provide explicit instructions on how to format your paper submission to facilitate the review process and comply with electronic accessibility requirements for the Conference Proceedings. The format must be followed precisely in order to make your paper accessible to individuals with visual impairments and to enhance our ability to publish the paper in electronic format on the RESNA website. Failure to adhere to these guidelines will hinder the review and publication process and may result in your paper being rejected.

Paper Structure and General Style Guidelines:

Scientific Paper Template:  Scientific Papers must be formatted according to the RESNA Template. 

Sample Paper:  Authors should review the sample paper in order to gain the clearest idea about style and layout guidelines. 

Style Manual:  Authors can also refer to the Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) (6th Edition) style guide for citation and reference information.

Submission of Files: You will need to upload the following files to the online system. The total allowable size for each file is 5MB.

  1. Your full paper, including all tables, charts, and figures placed appropriately;
  2. A blinded copy of the full paper. The blinded copy will be the full paper minus all of the author names and affiliations, as well as any acknowledgement section. Please be careful to accept all Track Changes and save as a Final version (not Showing Markup) so that no identification is given for a true-blinded review process; and
  3. Alternative text for all non-text elements.

PLEASE NOTE: You will also be required to paste your abstract into the system. Your abstract cannot exceed 2000 characters with spaces.

Naming your Files: All files should be submitted in an editable format (doc or docx), rather than a PDF. PDFs shall not be accepted.  Please name your files using the title of your paper.