Meet the Research Teams at the ADA National Network

This month we will celebrate the 32nd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)! Shortly after the law went into effect, NIDILRR funded the ADA National Network, comprised of ten regional centers and, later, added the ADA Network Knowledge Translation (KT) Center and the ADA Participation Action Research Consortium (PARC). The 10 regional centers provide information, training, and technical assistance to help people with disabilities, businesses, organizations, and governments understand their rights and responsibilities under the law. Among their activities, these centers publish resources, host events, hold training sessions, and answer individual requests through a nationwide toll-free information line (800/949-9ADA [4232]).

Did you know these regional ADA centers also conduct research to understand barriers and supports to implementing the ADA? Each ADA Regional Center has conducted or participated in at least one research project as part of its activities, along with the ADA KT Center and ADA PARC who also conducted research as part of their project activities. Below is an overview of the current centers’ wide array of research projects.

New England ADA Regional Center (Region I)

The goal of this project is to address gaps in information and ADA compliance in communities with high prevalence rates of Black and Indigenous people of color (BIPoC) with disabilities and extend awareness of their civil rights and protections under the ADA in order to live fully and participate in the community. To achieve this goal, researchers pose three research questions: (1) What do you know about the ADA?; (2) What do you think about disability and who that describes?; and (3) Where do you go to get information you trust about rights? The Center uses a Participatory Action Research (PAR) mixed methods study in collaboration with grassroots community researchers from the six BIPoC majority cities in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. In addition to communities of BIPoCs, researchers are studying two other communities known to have high disability prevalence rates but who do not connect to ADA National Network Services: (1) Older working adults (ages 65-74), and (2) rural low-income White communities in the states of New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine.

Explore previous research conducted by the New England ADA Regional Center from 2016-2021.

Explore publications from New England ADA Regional Centers from 2006 to present indexed in REHABDATA.

Northeast ADA Regional Center (Region II)

The Center provides high-quality services that are relevant and responsive to the needs of ADA stakeholders, focusing on three groups identified as high need: (1) employment service professionals, (2) young people with disabilities, and (3) facility access professionals with a focus on beach access. The Center’s research project focuses on implementation of workplace flexibility policies. This project builds upon and shapes activities in measurement and tracking and in stakeholder engagement through ADA-related services. Project activities have been designed to ensure direct engagement with stakeholders through different modalities and levels of intensity.

Explore publications from the Northeast ADA Regional Centers from 2006 to present indexed in REHABDATA.

Mid Atlantic ADA Regional Center (Region III)

The Mid-Atlantic ADA Regional Center identifies and disseminates the effective practices of individuals and entities which promote improved integration of individuals with disabilities into all areas of community life. The center partners with the University of Maryland and Coppin State University to promote effective implementation of the ADA and inclusion of people with disabilities, including those from racial and ethnic minorities; identifies barriers to compliance with the ADA; and develops innovative strategies to eliminate such barriers through specific local and regional research.

Explore previous research conducted by the Mid-Atlantic ADA Regional Center from 2016-2021.

Explore publications from the Mid-Atlantic ADA Regional Centers from 2006 to present indexed in REHABDATA.

Southeast ADA Regional Center (Region IV)

The goal of the Southeast ADA Regional Center (SEADA) is to advance knowledge and understanding of rights and responsibilities under the ADA. SEADA conducts a program of research that produces new knowledge and understanding of barriers to achieving the pillars of the ADA: (1) full participation in the community, (2) independent living, (3) equal opportunity, and (4) economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities and their families.

Explore publications from the Southeast ADA Regional Centers from 2006 to present indexed in REHABDATA.

Great Lakes ADA Regional Center (Region V)

The Great Lakes ADA Center promotes awareness and compliance with the ADA. Project goals and objectives center on the provision of high quality, timely, and accurate technical assistance (TA), training, and material dissemination to a diverse set of targeted audiences. The Center utilizes a comprehensive service delivery model to conduct research to identify barriers to implementation and generate innovative evidence-based information and training materials to eliminate these barriers.

Explore publications from the Great Lakes ADA Regional Centers from 2006 to present indexed in REHABDATA.

Southwest ADA Regional Center (Region VI)

The Southwest ADA Regional Center (SWADA) conducts activities to address barriers for people with disabilities in employment, access to state and local government programs and services, and access to places of public accommodations. SWADA conducts innovative research into access barriers experienced by people with disabilities and improving the capacity of entities to serve them.

Explore publications from the Southwest ADA Regional Centers from 2006 to present indexed in REHABDATA.

Great Plains ADA Regional Center (Region VII)

The Great Plains ADA Regional Center provides a sustained program of ADA Network services of training, technical assistance, dissemination, outreach, and capacity building to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) stakeholders. The Center conducts two research projects: (1) Identifying Barriers to Accessibility in Healthcare Facilities for Individuals with Disabilities, and (2) Identifying Barriers to Accessibility in Small Business Websites. Center activities focus on accessible recreation, healthcare, websites, elections and voting, and Centers for Independent Living capacity building. 

Explore publications from the Great Plains ADA Regional Centers from 2006 to present indexed in REHABDATA.

Rocky Mountain ADA Regional Center (Region VIII)

The Rocky Mountain ADA Regional Center (RMADAC) provides information, guidance, and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) tailored to meet the needs of individuals and organizations in Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. This center is conducting targeted research to inform service delivery. RMADA center research has examined artificial intelligence in hiring, barriers created by the pandemic, telework and telehealth, and much more.

Explore publications from the Rocky Mountain ADA Regional Centers from 2006 to present indexed in REHABDATA.

Pacific ADA Regional Center (Region IX)

The four goals for the Pacific ADA Regional Center are to: (1) provide training, technical assistance, and information dissemination aimed at ADA stakeholders; (2) conduct research on barriers within healthcare and work with healthcare staff on ADA implementation; (3) record service provision in the Outcomes Measurement System database; and (4) develop new ADA training and TA materials and coordinate with ADA National Network to centralize documents in an online system. This center is conducting research on ADA Coordinators and health care staff.

Explore publications from the Pacific ADA Regional Centers from 2006 to present indexed in REHABDATA.

Northwest ADA Regional Center (Region X)

The Northwest ADA Regional Center (NWADAC) provides a sustained program of outreach, training, technical assistance, information dissemination, and research services and activities. Research activities include designing and implementing research on barriers and effective strategies in healthcare.

Explore publications from the Northwest ADA Regional Centers from 2006 to present indexed in REHABDATA.

Americans with Disabilities Act Participation Action Research Consortium (ADA PARC): Advancing Participation Equity for People with Disabilities.

The ADA Participation Action Research Consortium (ADA PARC) builds and expands upon previous collaborative research which explored how to measure, and document participation disparities experienced by people with disabilities. Activities include creation of an immediate access platform where stakeholders can query participation disparities across thousands of cities such as access to least restrictive community living with supports (CL); levels of community participation and civic engagement and access to resources to participate in communities (CP); and economic, work, and financial equity and resource access. The consortium also models rigorous disparities analyses with existing and newly identified datasets, examining disparities at community levels in resources and funding related to accessible and affordable housing, transportation, and financial and economic equity.

Explore publications from the ADA PARC 2017-2021 and 2012-2017 and the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center: Coordination, Outreach, and Research Center (2006-2010) indexed in REHABDATA.

The ADA Network Knowledge Translation Center (ADAKTC) serves as a platform to facilitate and support increased implementation of the ADA across all ADA stakeholders. The ADAKTC builds upon the knowledge translation (KT) capacity of the ADA National Network to develop and manage its KT infrastructure, implement national KT activities, engage in KT research, and identify and reach out to underserved ADA stakeholder communities. The ADAKTC implements KT research projects that result in evidence-based guidance to the ADA National Network, including conducting a set KT research projects and translating findings into plain language summaries for policymakers, technical reports, publications in peer-review journals, and presentations at national conferences. Learn more about the ADAKT research through the National ADA Systematic Review and the Evaluation of Technical Assistance Services.

Explore publications from the ADA KT Centers from 2011 to present indexed in REHABDATA.

The 2021 Virtual State of the Science Conference on the Americans with Disabilities Act was held on April 13th – 15th, 2021. Over three days, the State of the Science featured keynote addresses and presentations on research related to the implementation of the ADA. You can also access webcasts, slides, and information from the 2016 State of the Science Conference on the ADA.

Including these project, 70 NIDILRR-funded projects have examined the impact of the ADA, as well as barriers and supports to its implementation. Explore these projects and their publications in NARIC’s Program Database.

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