Welcome from Mark Odum, Our Director!

Mark Odum, Director of NARICWelcome to the NARIC Web site, our gateway to an abundance of disability- and rehabilitation-oriented information organized in a variety of formats designed to make it easy for users to find and use. Since 1977, NARIC staff members have been dedicated to providing direct, personal, and high-quality information services to anyone throughout the country. (Meet the whole NARIC team.) As a leader in providing interactive information to the disability and rehabilitation community, NARIC's Web site continues this tradition by putting the information into the hands of the users through online publications, searchable databases, and timely reference and referral data.

A brief history of NARIC

NARIC began as a small collection of research reports housed in a one-room office at Catholic University. The core mission of the Center is to collect and disseminate the results of research funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). Over a quarter of a century, that mission has expanded to providing information services and document delivery to the disability and rehabilitation communities across the United States. In 1982, we added information and referral services through a toll-free call center. In 1989, NARIC added an electronic bulletin board, facilitating access for libraries and research institutions. With the advent of the Internet, NARIC moved online in 1992 with a small website featuring static pages and directories. NARIC.com became fully interactive in 1995, moving REHABDATA online, followed by our other databases. We brought NARIC's resources into mailboxes around the world with REHABDATA Connection, a monthly alert service. We now actively promote the work of the NIDILRR community through our newsletter, News and Notes from the NIDILRR Community and Beyond.

NARIC in the 21st Century

As you search through our site, you're actually going through more than 30 years of collecting, organizing, and maintaining the most current information in the field. What started as a small collection now includes more than 70,000 documents and journal articles. Our largest database, REHABDATA, demonstrates the long-term, rich contributions of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR, see below) to rehabilitation research and services. In this new century, NARIC is moving toward a digital collection. We currently archive electronic copies of current journal articles. We will expand this collection, digitizing existing publications for safer storage and easy retrieval. We plan to expand our online services to include virtual reference through chat interface and shopping cart technology to order documents directly from REHABDATA.

Throughout its impressive history, NARIC has been influenced by many thoughtful people. Most noteworthy are the program staff members at NIDILRR, rehabilitation and disability researchers and health professionals, information scientists, and the vast majority of our users -- people with disabilities, their families, and friends. Be sure to go to our Facebook page to give us your observations, comments, and ideas for improvement, so that we can continue to provide you with the information you need. You can also follow us on Twitter. NARIC is operated by BlackFish Federal, LLC/HeiTech Services, Inc., under contract number 140D0421C0021.

Like us on FacebookFollow NARICInfo on TwitterVisit the NARIC Spotlight BlogFind us on YouTube


The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) operates as part of the Administration for Community Living at the US Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to the signing of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, NIDILRR (previously known as NIDRR) was one of three components of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) at the U.S. Department of Education and operated in concert with the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) and the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).

It is the mission of NIDILRR to generate, disseminate and promote new knowledge to improve the options available to disabled persons. The ultimate goal is to allow these individuals to perform their regular activities in the community and to bolster society’s ability to provide full opportunities and appropriate supports for its disabled citizens. Toward this end, NIDILRR conducts comprehensive and coordinated programs of research and related activities to maximize the full inclusion, social integration, employment and independent living of individuals of all ages with disabilities. NIDILRR’s focus includes research in areas such as employment; health and function; technology for access and function; independent living and community integration; and other associated disability research areas.

Balanced between the scientific and consumer communities, NIDILRR plays a unique role in federally funded research activities. As part of the scientific community, NIDILRR makes an important contribution to the overall knowledge in rehabilitation medicine, engineering, psychosocial rehabilitation, integration, vocational outcomes and the virtual and built environments. In addition, NIDILRR’s work helps to integrate disability research into our nation’s policies regarding science and technology, health care, and economics. Learn more about NIDILRR and its programs at https://www.acl.gov/programs/research-and-development/

NOTE: On July 22, 2014, President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA). WIOA was effective immediately. One provision of WIOA transferred the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) from the Department of Education to the Administration for Community Living (ACL) in the Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, NIDRR's name was changed to the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). Archival materials on this website may refer to NIDILRR by its previous acronym.

About BlackFish Federal, LLC, and HeiTech Services, Inc.

NARIC is operated jointly by BlackFish Federal, LLC, and HeiTech Services, Inc.

BlackFish Federal, LLC, is an 8(a)-certified small business offering mission-specific professional services to federal, state, and commercial clients. Whether through applying innovative IT solutions or providing healthcare management support services, BlackFish consultants use their problem-solving skills to turn challenges into opportunities. ISO 9001:2015 certified and appraised at CMMI Services V2.0 maturity level 2, all of these services are supported by high quality, standardized, and repeatable processes. 

Its work encompases eight key areas:

  • Program and project management
  • IT development and innovation
  • Healthcare solutions
  • Security support services
  • Acquisitions and contracts
  • Business processing
  • Professional and technical services
  • Training and evaluation
Learn more about BlackFish Federal and its clients at www.blackfishfederal.com.
Founded in 1999, HeiTech Services is a woman- and veteran-owned management consulting and information technology firm headquartered in Lanham, Maryland. The company is certified by the Small Business Administration as 8(a) until August 2009. HeiTech Services has implemented a customer focused model that combines on-site and off-site operations.

Its work encompasses five key areas:

  • IT Support;
  • Management Consulting and Program Evaluation;
  • Customer Compliance Support;
  • Clearinghouse and Resource Center Operations; and
  • Administrative Support.

The company's mission is to provide excellent service working together with the client to accomplish common goals in an environment that is rewarding to both. High value is placed on the development of the individual, on both professional and person levels.

HeiTech has numerous federal contracts with several agencies including the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Education, Labor, and Transportation. The company partners with large business and academic institutions to the benefit of the client. Partners have included such companies as Mathmatica Policy Research, Inc., University of Kentucky, ICF Consulting, and Perot Systems Government Services (PSGS).

Learn more about HeiTech Services and its clients at www.heitechservices.com.