RESEARCH & EVALUATION
- Institute on Disabilities Research Mission and Introduction
- Research on Accessible and Assistive Technology at the Institute on Disabilities
- Quality Management/Quality Assurance
- Research on Health at the Institute on Disabilities
- Criminal Justice Initiative
- Post-Secondary Research Projects
- Other Presentations/Publications
- Research Highlight of the Quarter and Recently Obtained Grants
The Institute on Disabilities promotes, conducts, and disseminates constituency-oriented, collaborative research and evaluation focusing on people with disabilities and systems intended to serve people with a range of disabilities, inclusive of people from diverse cultures as collaborators and participants in research and evaluation process.
Visit the pages listed below for more information on our areas of research concentration.
Despite the potential benefits, individuals with intellectual disabilities underuse many types of assistive technology (AT), despite the far-reaching potential benefits. We are conducting a number of research projects related to assistive technology use, including:
Independent Monitoring for Quality (IM4Q) is a statewide initiative funded by The Office of Developmental Programs. Individuals with intellectual disabilities are surveyed face-to-face by teams that include individuals with disabilities and/or family members. The survey focuses on quality of life measures. (Funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Office of Developmental Programs)
Institute researchers also conduct studies on state of the art measurement of quality outcomes. Conclusions about the effectiveness of interventions for persons with disabilities may vary depending on the methodology used to assess the interventions. We have compared various statistical methodologies, to determine whether the use of more traditional, simpler methods can be as useful as more computationally-intensive methods that are not as transparent to clinicians and educators. (Funded by the National Institute on Disabilities and Rehabilitation Research)
Web-based data collection is an important and growing development in research on outcomes, and Institute investigators also work to understand its implications and improve its usefulness and accessibility. For example, a recently completed study demonstrated that web-based survey data collection can lead to franker assessments of the burden of care experienced by family members than telephone survey data collection. Another study solicited opinions from patients with disabilities about their preferences in a web-based outcomes data collection tool. (Both of these studies funded by the National Institutes of Health.)