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The NCMRR conceptual framework also recognizes that human activities involve interactions with other people and the environment.
Recognizing that before people with disabilities will be able to fully enter society's mainstream, they need to maximize their physical and behavioral ability, on November 16, 1992, President George Bush signed Public Law 101-613, establishing NCMRR as part of NIH's National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).
This law specifically stated that NCMRR's purpose is to conduct and support research and research training (including research on the development of orthotic and prosthetic devices), disseminate health information, and offer other programs for the rehabilitation of individuals with physical disabilities resulting from diseases or disorders of the neurological, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, pulmonary, or any other physiological system.
NCMRR was specifically formed to provide such a focus within the federal government -- and especially at NIH.
NCMRR is part of the much larger National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, whose overall mission focuses on developmental processes.
NCMRR, NICHD's third center, currently has an annual budget of $10 million, a 36% increase over the past year.
Organizationally, NCMRR has a basic-research branch and an applied-research branch.
Given these priorities, NCMRR has initiated a number of specific research and training initiatives.
Although NCMRR's activities represent a promising new development for disability-related research, there are potential problems and concerns as it attempts to grow and realize its full potential.
Second, as a result, virtually the only way NCMRR has been able to fund grants has been through special, defined research initiatives, which are subjected to different review procedures and do not face the preceding problems.
Third, even though Congress mandated NCMRR, due to NIH hiring and staffing freezes the center has been unable to adequately staff to effectively meet its mission.
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