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Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project on Emerging Disability and Systems Change

After decades of innovation and systems change, public human service agencies face two challenges. First, a problem of measurement and impact: Data currently collected are inadequate to monitor the employment status of people with disabilities, or to determine the relationship between employment outcomes and systems change activities (such as workforce consolidation, interagency collaboration, new reimbursement mechanisms for state systems, and work incentive legislation). Second, a problem of audience: The population of people with disabilities is broader than that served by traditional public disability agencies. Agencies have been less successful in reaching those who:

The Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project on Emerging Disability and Systems Change focuses on these policy and research issues. Through three studies, the project examines issues, policies, and strategies for evaluating the effect of recent initiatives on the employment outcomes of people with disabilities.

The project includes:

  1. Emerging Disability and Systems Change Working Group: A group of policymakers, researchers, data experts, and disability advocates that will identify methods for monitoring systems change.
  2. Follow-Along Study: A three-year qualitative study of 90 people with disabilities in three states that will evaluate the effect of systems change initiatives on the lives of people with disabilities.
  3. Systems Change Outcomes Study: Extensive quantitative analysis of data compiled from a number of national data sources.

The Emerging Disability project is funded from 2002 to 2007 by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

Project Director: Susan Foley

Project Contact: Doris Hamner

Project publications

ICI: promoting inclusion for people with disabilities