Research of the Great Lakes ADA Center

ADA Success Stories

Research study – Disability inclusion in the context of COVID-19

The Great Lakes ADA Center is conducting research to identify emerging practices to support disability inclusion in the context of the pandemic. We are looking for members of disability employee resource or affinity groups, and diversity and inclusion professionals to interview.

Who is eligible for this study?

Interview participants must:
  • Work at a large business or organization (500+ employees).
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Be a member of a disability related employee resource group at their organization and/or be a diversity and inclusion practitioner.

What does the research involve?

Participation includes a 30-40 minute interview via a web-based platform where participants are asked about their work experiences related to the employee resource group. During the interview, you will also be asked to talk about your experiences regarding disability inclusion at your organization, changes in the workplace since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, potential innovative practices for supporting disability inclusion, and insights about what resources are needed to continue to support disability inclusion in the future.

Findings will be disseminated widely through the center and various disability and business-related networks. All responses will remain confidential and anonymous, with all shared results being de-identified.

To participate, please contact:
Courtney Mullin,
Research Assistant

What is the goal of this project?

The goal of this research project is to learn more the ADA implementation process from organizations that excels in compliance, implementation, and disability programming. We are interested in learning how strategies for inclusion and compliance are applied in a wide variety of settings such as businesses, institutions of higher education, state and local governments, and others.

Why is this research important?

There are different ways to achieve compliance, and also many ways to apply the broader social goal of the ADA to promote the full inclusion of people with disabilities. Organizations that have had success in their disability inclusion efforts often move beyond compliance in their organizational efforts, and have experiential knowledge to share from their implementation efforts. Sharing success stories can help others apply similar strategies to ensure that people with disabilities are fully included in different types of organizations.

How will we learn about ADA success stories plans?

This comprehensive study of excellence in ADA implementation will take place in three parts:

  • First, we will conduct a scoping review and a critical analysis of national resources meant to facilitate organizational change to support the inclusion of people with disabilities across different settings (e.g. employee inclusion and diversity initiatives, trainings and technical assistance materials, campus guides and student service materials). This review will be used to generate a descriptive report of existing materials, resources, and best practices in disability inclusion.
  • Next we will conduct interviews with individuals from five different stakeholder groups about their experiences in facilitating policies, practices, and/or programs that have been most successful in facilitating ADA implementation and disability inclusion. We will begin recruiting participants in the Spring of 2018. The individuals are recruited from five different stakeholder groups: (1) business representatives who have been identified through their work with the ADA centers and partners they routinely work with; (2) people with disabilities who have become established leaders within disability advocacy organization, workplace, and educational settings; (3) representatives of educational campus initiatives in charge of ADA implementation, and/or are meant to promote the full inclusion of people with disabilities into higher education; (4) representatives of businesses and organizations that have excelled in their efforts to include people with disabilities in their customer base; and (5) representatives of state and municipal governments, park districts, or recreation facilities active in ADA implementation as detailed under Title II of the ADA.
  • In the final stage, we will create a survey regarding the best practices identified in the interviews. The survey will be used to establish baseline knowledge of the state of implementation in the Great Lakes region.
How will this research be used to advance knowledge and implementation of the ADA?

The results of this research will be used to develop new resources and inform technical assistance efforts. The findings will be used to create to a tool for organizations to assess their ADA implementation and disability programming efforts. Lastly, the results will inform dissemination and knowledge translation efforts, as we will create reports, plain language summaries, and a series of webinars about best practices in ADA excellence and compliance.

Who is conducting this research?

Research staff for this project includes:

Principal Investigators: Robert Gould and Sarah Parker Harris
Co-Investigators: Robin Jones, Yochai Eisenberg
Research Assistants: Courtney Mullin


Last Updated on:
Fri Jun 19, 2020