Karen Milchus

Senior Research Engineer


Karen Milchus is Co-Director of the national Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Workplace Accommodations (Work RERC), funded by NIDRR. She specializes in identifying and providing educational and vocational accommodations to youth and adults with disabilities, with a particular focus on computer access solutions.

Related to her interest in workplace accommodations, Ms. Milchus is the PI for a grant to develop an expert system to recommend workplace accommodations, recently finished work on an NSF project that investigated the accommodation needs of teachers with disabilities, and was the PI for CATEA's work on Tech Connections, a NIDRR-funded information dissemination project on assistive technology for rehabilitation counselors.

Related to her interest in educational accommodations, Ms. Milchus has led projects supported by the National Science Foundation to disseminate information on how to make science experiments accessible to students with disabilities. Prior to joining CATEA in 1994, Ms. Milchus worked as a Rehabilitation Technologist at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in what is now the Assistive Technology and Assessment Center. While there, she co-authored Wisconsin's procedural manual on transporting students with special needs.

Her Master's research was on providing supplementary force feedback to the upper extremity neuroprosthesis developed by the Cleveland FES Center.

Ms. Milchus is active in RESNA and is Vice-Chair of the Special Interest Group (SIG) on Accommodations.


M.S. in Biomedical Engineering - Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Research Interests/Current Projects:

Recent Publications:

Linden, M. and Milchus, K. (2011, June). Update from the RERC on Workplace Accommodations. Proceedings of the RESNA 2011 Conference, Toronto, Canada.

Milchus, K., Adya, M. & Samant, D. (June 2010). Costs and Benefits of Workplace Accommodations: Findings from Company Case Studies. In Proceedings of the RESNA 2010 Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

Milchus, K. and Bruce, C. (2008). Computer access in the workplace. In Helal, A., Mokhtari, M., and Abdulrazak, B (Eds.), The Engineering Handbook of Smart Technology for Aging, Disability and Independence. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley and Sons. 239-261.

Sabata, D., Williams, M. D., Milchus, K., Baker, P. M.A., and Sanford, J. A. (2008). A Retrospective Analysis of Recommendations for Workplace Accommodations for Persons with Mobility and Sensory Limitations. Assistive Technology, 20(1), 28-35.

Milchus, K. (2008). Aging Educators with Disabilities: Experiences with Accommodations. In W. Mann (Ed.), Aging, Disability and Independence: Selected Papers from the 4th International Conference on Aging, Disability and Independence. Fairfax, VA: IOS Press. 141-150.

Milchus, K. (2007, June). Workplace Accommodations for Educators with Disabilities. Proceedings of the RESNA 30th Annual International Conference, Phoenix, AZ.

Milchus, K. (2007, March). Work Experiences of Educators: Policy Implications for Accommodating Professionals. Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference, Los Angeles, CA.

Milchus, K., & Grubbs, R. L. (2007). Work Experiences of Educators with Disabilities. In M. L. Vance (Ed.), Multiple Voices and Identities in Higher Education: Writings by Disabled Faculty and Staff in a Disabling Society. Huntersville, NC: Association for Higher Education and Disability. 243-252.

Milchus, K. (2006, June). Workplace Accommodation Training: A Focus on Providing Training to ATPs. Proceedings of the 2006 RESNA National Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Selected Training Activities:

"Enabling Computer Access" (ARC 1021P) Georgia Tech. Professional Education Course.

"Workplace Accommodations: Processes and Tools" (ARC 1015P) Georgia Tech. Professional Education Course.

"Fundamental Strategies for Workplace Accommodations and Home Modifications" (ARC 1013P) Georgia Tech. Professional Education Course.

"Technology for All: Using Educational Technologies in the Inclusive Classroom", workshop for the National Science Teachers Association conference (2005 - Dallas, TX; 2004 - Atlanta, GA).

"Assistive Technology in the Workplace: Production and Repair Jobs", Tech Connections satellite broadcast and video, May 2001. Script writer.

"Assistive Technology in the Workplace: Office and Computer-Related Jobs", Tech Connections satellite broadcast and video, January 2000. Script writer.


Assistive Technology Practitioner (ATP) (1989-2010)
Professional Engineer in Training Certification (6/1989)

Professional Memberships/Affiliations:

  • RESNA: Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (1991-Present); Vice-Chair of Accommodations SIG (2010-2012); Chair of Education Committee (2006-2008).
  • NSTA: National Science Teacher's Association (1999-2005); former member of Special Education Advisory Board and position paper task force on "Science for People with Disabilities."