Answered Questions: Monthly News for the Disability Community for April 2021 – Community Inclusion

Answered Questions is a monthly resource for the Spanish language Disability Community that fills an information need. This month’s question is I have a family member with a disability who would like to participate more in their community. What research, information, and resources are available to support their community participation? This edition of Answered Questions includes items that examine how ABLE accounts may increase the community participation for people with intellectual, developmental, and cognitive disabilities; discuss the full participation for people with disabilities after institutionalization; discuss the development of interventions that maximize community participation for people with mental illness; discuss the preferences of people who are legally blind for indoor wayfinding systems; discuss children with intellectual disabilities participating in “regular school”; discuss the civil rights and civic participation of people with disabilities; and more. More about Answered Questions.

NIDILRR-Funded Projects:

The ABLE Act of 2014 allows an estimated seven million people with significant disabilities to establish tax advantaged saving accounts exempt from means-tested requirements for federal public benefits (SSI, Medicaid, and SNAP), and prohibits the reduction of public resources when an account is established. People who contribute to ABLE accounts can build financial independence and set goals for the future. The project, Financial Engagements as a Gateway to Community Participation: A Multi-Level Intervention Study (in English), examines the promise of ABLE accounts in increasing community participation for people with intellectual, developmental, and cognitive disabilities.

The Temple University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Community Living and Participation of People with Serious Mental Illness (TU Collaborative) (in English) advances the development of interventions that maximize the community living and participation of people with serious mental illness through research and knowledge translation activities in partnership with consumers and other stakeholders. The TU Collaborative serves as a national resource center for people with serious mental illness, their families, service and support providers, researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders. The Center provides a comprehensive list of all of the community inclusion resources (in English) developed by the Center on a wide variety of community participation-related topics, including general community inclusion, education, employment, housing, citizenship, and more. Finally, the TU Collaborative also develops yearly calendars (in English) to assist people with serious mental illness in participating in their communities.

From the NARIC Collection:

The article, “Starting to live a life”: Understanding full participation for people with disabilities after institutionalization (in English), discusses a study that explored how people with disabilities describe full participation after transition from an institution to the community and identified environmental barriers and facilitators to participation during and after this transition. During the study, people with disabilities reported that transitioning from institutions to the community was itself not enough to support their full community participation. However, they viewed transition as an ongoing process, and they needed services and supports to fully participate. The researchers found that occupational therapists working in institutional and community settings can partner with local disability advocacy communities to support their clients during and after transition to the community.

Research In Focus:

Accessible GPS systems have been developed to aid people who are legally blind with outdoor navigation, but, until recently, these systems provided little help with indoor wayfinding. The article, People Who are Legally Blind Share Their Preferences for Indoor Wayfinding Systems, discusses a study from the NIDILRR-funded project Accessible Environment Information Application for Individuals with Visual Impairments (in English) where researchers asked assistive technology users who were legally blind to describe their preferences for an accessible indoor wayfinding system. Researchers found that airports were rated as both most important and most difficult to navigate independently and that participants agreed that providing access to points of interest and current location information were the most desirable. This article is also available in English.


Inclusive education promotes the participation of children with intellectual disabilities in integrated classrooms with their peers without disabilities. Yet in Chile, children with intellectual disabilities tend to be segregated into special educational programs. The article, Playing and building: Experiences of participation of children with intellectual disability of second basic cycle in two municipal schools in Chile, discusses a study to understand the experiences of participation of children with intellectual disabilities in the context of integrated school setting. The results of the study help with the identification, from the perspective of the children with intellectual disabilities, of universal resources and supports that exist in the school community environment to promote their participation, motivation, learning, and quality of life.

Civic Participation:

For a long time, minority groups, such as women and people with disabilities, have been excluded from participating in the construction of society’s decisions. Although this has changed in many ways, there are still situations that prevent people with disabilities and other minority groups from exercising their right to vote and other civic rights. The article, Participation is inclusion: The right to the civic participation of people with disabilities, discusses the rights of people with disabilities to participate in their civic and political communities. The article also discusses in depth different civil rights of people with disabilities.

Social Inclusion:

The article, Social Inclusion and Community Participation: A Work Perspective in the Face of Disabilities, discusses a participatory action research project to develop and evaluate, with the community, the perception of a program based on a socio-economical model for the social inclusion of people with disabilities and their families who live in a community in Chia, Colombia. The results show that the community participation of people with disabilities may be accomplished with social support, satisfaction of the person’s needs, and the generation and identification of resources that support community participation and social inclusion of people with disabilities.


  • A blog post in NARIC’s Spotlight blog, Community Living – Resources for Participating in Your Community discusses the Olmstead decision, where the Supreme Court determined that the institutional isolation of people with disabilities was unjustified and is a form of unlawful discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The post also discusses various resources, toolkits, videos, factsheets, and more from the NIDILRR grantee community that provide information and support for people with disabilities as they prepare to or continue to participate in their communities. This blog post is also available in English.

Further Research:




About Answered Questions

Each month, we look through the searches on our blog and through the information requests made by our patrons who speak Spanish and pick a topic that fills the largest need. Each resource mentioned above is associated with this month’s information need. We search the various Spanish language news sources and feeds throughout the month to bring you these articles. With the exception of the NIDILRR Projects, From the NARIC Collection, and Further Investigation, all the linked articles and resources are in Spanish – any that are in English will be clearly marked.

About mpgarcia

I'm the Bilingual Information/Media Specialist at NARIC.
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