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Protection, Informed Consent, and Privacy Policies

The National Assistive Technology Research Institute (NATRI) adheres to the following policies with respect to protection of human rights of subjects in research investigations, informed consent about investigations, and the privacy of personally identifiable information.

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Protection of Human Subjects

All research projects conducted by NATRI must be approved by the University of Kentucky Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the Protection of Human Subjects prior to their initiation. Members of the IRB closely examine the research questions, procedures and instruments to ensure that there is nothing in the research methodology that would cause physical or psychological harm to subjects who participate in each research project.

No data collection is permitted to begin until the IRB is satisfied that the human rights of subjects are protected. Such permission is provided in written form and is kept on file in the NATRI offices.

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Informed Consent

Subjects in any research investigation who can be personally identified, or whose responses to questionnaires and other data collection instruments can be identified, are required to give their consent to serve as subjects prior to their participation. In such cases, NATRI researchers will describe exactly how the information that is provided by subjects will be collected, analyzed and reported. They also will be informed about any risks that may be involved and who will see the data, how the data will be stored and secured, and how their anonymity will be ensured.

The process of explaining this information and securing approval from potential subjects is known as "Informed Consent". The IRB ensures that appropriate procedures and instruments are in place to acquire written, informed consent of all subjects prior to their participation in all research investigations if their responses can be personally identifiable. No reports of personally identifiable information will be made unless written permission to do so is on file.

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Privacy of Names and Addresses

At several places on this Web site, users are given the opportunity to participate as subjects in various research studies, register their e-mail addresses so they can be notified when new information is posted on the Web site, or volunteer to provide information about a variety of assistive technology topics.

Under no circumstances will the names, addresses, or other identifiable information be provided to others who are external to NATRI. Such information will be kept in a secure environment and will be used solely for the purposes specified when the personal information is provided. This provision applies equally to mailing lists that are maintained for communication with subjects of the various investigations being conducted.

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Last Updated: Wednesday, August 23, 2006
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