This Sunday is the 25th International Day of Persons with Disabilities, celebrated by the United Nations to promote the rights and well-being of people with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of people with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic, and cultural life. The theme for 2017 is transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all which builds on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. The UN identified five “disability-inclusive” goals, with language aimed at addressing disparities for people with disabilities in the global community. The research and development activities of the NIDILRR grantee community tie into many of these goals. Below are just a few of the projects currently or recently working in these areas as well as information and research publications available online or from the NARIC collection.
Goal 4: Quality Education includes equal access to all levels of education and vocational training; transition including university access, technical, and vocational education; inclusive learning environments and technology; and capacity building of scholars in minority groups such as scholars with disabilities. Several current and recently completed projects focus on education, the important period of transition to college or work, vocational training, and building capacity for scholars with disabilities. These include:
- Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Learning and Working During the Transition to Adulthood offers a learning center with publications, videos, and resources to help students with mental health conditions make the successful transition to college and work
- The National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision developed From School to College: A Transition Activity Calendar for Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired, which gives students, parents, and teachers the tools to start planning as early as middle school.
- Part of NIDILRR’s mission is to build capacity for scholars with disabilities and from other minority groups through individual fellowships and research training programs.
More current and completed NIDILRR-funded research on
- Education of young children
- Transition to college
- Vocational training, education, and rehabilitation
Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, including promoting inclusive economic growth, and full and productive employment allowing persons with disabilities to fully access the job market. Improving employment outcomes for people with disabilities is a significant focus of NIDILRR-funded research. Current research projects include:
- RRTC on Advancing Employment for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities researches the effectiveness of employment consultants, transforming organization from sheltered workshops to integrated employment, and policies and practices of high-performing state employment systems.
- The Diversity Partners Intervention: Moving the Disability Employment Needle Through Value Added Relationships Between Talent Acquisition Providers and the Business Community bridges the gap between employment service professionals, job seekers with disabilities, and business with tools for frontline staff, organization leaders, and human resource professionals.
- Workers with Psychiatric Disabilities and Self-Employment Through Microenterprise is another project which focused on entrepreneurship as an employment strategy for people with psychiatric disabilities
More research on
- Competitive and integrated employment
- Mentorship and internship
- Entrepreneurship and self-employment
- Individual placement and support
Goal 10: Reduced Inequality, including emphasizing the social, economic and political inclusion of persons with disabilities. NIDILRR-funded research includes significant focus on participation in the community, from removing physical barriers to spaces to fostering inclusion in work, school, play, and worship. Current research projects focused on reducing disparities include:
- ADA Participation Action Research Consortium (ADA PARC): Advancing Participation Equity for People with Disabilities will examine participation disparities across the US, including participation in economic, work, and financial equity.
More research on
- Disparities in health
- Disparities in income/wealth/financial activities
- Disparities in policy and political participation
Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, including creating accessible cities and water resources; affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems; inclusive disaster preparedness and relief; and providing universal access to safe, inclusive, accessible, and green public spaces. NIDILRR-funded research toward this goal includes:
- The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Accessible Public Transportation advances research on physical access to public transportation
- The RERC on Universal Design and the Built Environment advances accessibility and universal design in housing, community and public buildings, community infrastructure, and transportation
- The Pacific ADA Regional Center partnered with FEMA to produce webinars on inclusive emergency management
More research on
- Housing access
- Transportation access
- Emergency management/preparedness
- Safeguarding cultural and natural heritage (disability history/disability studies)
Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development, including underlining the importance of data collection and monitoring of the sustainable development goals, emphasis on disability disaggregated data. NIDILRR-funded research in this area includes
- The RRTC on Disability Statistics and Demographics produces monthly data reports on employment of people with disabilities and the annual Compendium of Disability Statistics.
More research on
Over the next few days, we’ll look at the other 12 goals to see where NIDILRR-funded research fits and share more resources from the NIDILRR community and the NARIC collection! Watch this space or get in touch with an information specialist to learn more!