Knowledge Translation

Research and innovation can lead to meaningful improvements in the lives of people with disabilities and their families. However, until research results are interpreted and applied, they have little value or effect on policy and practice. Knowledge translation refers to strategies that move research into practice by improving the relevance, reporting, accessibility, interpretation, and application of research results. SEDL accomplishes this work through partnerships with leading organizations in the knowledge translation field, such as the Campbell Collaboration and the Cochrane Collaboration.

Strategic Support

Supporting the Production of Systematic Reviews in the Disability Field

A Disability Subgroup was established within the Campbell Collaboration (C2) Education Coordinating Group following a formal request from John Westbrook, director of SEDL's Disability Research to Practice program. The Disability Subgroup became official and convened with the Education Coordinating Group at its first meeting in May 2008 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Dr. Westbrook currently serves as Chair. The Subgroup was responsible for a symposium presenting systematic reviews focusing on disability topics at the C2 Colloquium in Oslo in 2009. The Disability Subgroup serves as a resource to work with researchers interested in sharing evidence-based research in the disability arena through systematic reviews that follow the C2 guidelines.

Significant Work

Knowledge Translation for Disability and Rehabilitation Research Center: The KTDRR Center builds on the work of the National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research to assist disability and rehabilitation researchers in getting their research results into the hands of the people who can use the information—employers, policymakers, service providers, and people with disabilities and their families. Staff accomplish this mission through information dissemination, technical assistance, training, and other services. Learn more

Knowledge Translation for Employment Research (KTER) Center
: SEDL is partnering with Virginia Commonwealth University to operate the KTER Center. The national center's work includes synthesizing and disseminating high-quality research on improving employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities, and identifying and testing strategies that encourage the use of research. The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research is funding the 5-year initiative. Learn more

Disability Subgroup of the Campbell Collaboration Education Coordinating Group: SEDL, in partnership with the Campbell Collaboration, has formed a Disability Subgroup within the Education Coordinating Group. The subgroup’s mission is to provide support and resources for disability researchers conducting systematic reviews and to increase the involvement of people with disabilities and their families in the review process.

Center on Knowledge Translation for Technology Transfer (KT4TT): SEDL is a subcontractor with the KT4TT Center at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo to help researchers funded through the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research improve their skills in knowledge translation and technology transfer. SEDL’s work on the dissemination component includes leading the development of webcasts and technical briefs.

Show More Work


Image of publication cover Online Workshop: Barriers and Supports for Research Use
This interactive workshop looked at strategies for overcoming obstacles as well as ways to promote the use of high quality research information to support employment of people with disabilities. Our presenters addressed how research findings are used in planning and decision making, and what new research is needed.
Image of publication cover Strategies for Reemployment of Dislocated Workers with Disabilities: KTER Center Technical Brief #1
This brief describes a June 2011 study to identify strategies for reemploying people with disabilities who lost their jobs due to the economic downturn in 2007–2009, known as "the Great Recession."
Image of publication cover Benefits of Supported Employment for Workers with Intellectual Disabilities: KTER Center Technical Brief #2
This brief presents an overview of The National Cost-Efficiency of Supported Employees with Intellectual Disabilities: The Worker's Perspective (Cimera, 2010).
Image of publication cover Knowledge and Application of Evidence-Based Practice by State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency Staff: KTER Center Technical Brief #3
This brief presents some preliminary research findings as part of the KTER Center's research agenda focusing on evidence related to employment services for individuals with disabilities.
Image of publication cover Knowledge Translation: Introduction to Models, Strategies, and Measures
This literature review is designed to bring together several aspects of knowledge translation for the purpose of raising awareness, connecting thoughts and perspectives, and stimulating ideas and questions for future rehabilitation research.
Image of publication cover When the Best Is the Enemy of the Good: The Nature of Research Evidence Used in Systematic Reviews and Guidelines
The Task Force on Systematic Review and Guidelines developed this paper to explore critical issues related to the "gold standard" for research designs, the emergence of systematic reviews, and the implications for evidence-based rehabilitation and clinical practice.
Image of publication cover FOCUS Technical Brief, Number 10: What is Knowledge Translation?
This FOCUS discusses knowledge translation (KT), a relatively new term used to describe a relatively old problem—the underutilization of evidence-based research in systems of care. This article describes relevant KT concepts and planning models, and suggests a working definition for KT that reflects disability research and development priorities.
Image of publication cover FOCUS Technical Brief, Number 11: Communities of Practice: A Strategy for Sharing and Building Knowledge
This FOCUS discusses the use of Communities of Practice (CoPs) as a knowledge transfer (KT) strategy. By building on its members' shared knowledge, a CoP can be useful in developing new ideas and new strategies.
Image of publication cover FOCUS Technical Brief, Number 14: Overview of International Literature on Knowledge Translation
This FOCUS summarizes the knowledge translation (KT) process as described by several international authors. While the majority of international articles on KT processes are published in medical and health-care journals, a growing interest exists in applying the KT concept more generically to other disciplines, including disability and rehabilitation research.
Image of publication cover FOCUS Technical Brief, Number 21: Why Is Knowledge Translation Important? Grounding the Conversation
This FOCUS highlights a speech by Dr. Michael Gibbons at the KT08: Forum for the Future Conference in Banff, Alberta, Canada, held on June 10, 2008. In his address, Gibbons proposed a framework of knowledge translation as an engagement process rather than a linear process of transfer.
Image of publication cover FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 26: Facilitating Technology-Based Knowledge Utilization
This FOCUS presents a framework for integrating two distinct processes: knowledge translation (KT) and technology transfer (TT). The integration permits stakeholders involved in technology-based research and development activities to identify and coordinate their respective roles, and to optimize the eventual use of research by industry for production purposes.
Image of publication cover FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 28: The Need to Knowledge Model: A Roadmap to Successful Outputs for NIDRR Grantees
This edition of FOCUS presents the Need to Knowledge (NtK) Model for new product development. The model was designed to encompass all activities from inception of a project through post-launch evaluation to paint a complete picture of the research, development, and production processes. This technical brief explains the details related to the model’s stages and gates, while also introducing four specific opportunities to employ knowledge translation techniques.
Image of publication cover FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 29: The Cochrane Collaboration: A Valuable Knowledge Translation Resource
This issue of FOCUS provides a brief overview of The Cochrane Collaboration and highlights entities and resources of the Collaboration that can assist disability and rehabilitation researchers and knowledge users in their knowledge translation efforts.
Image of publication cover FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 30: KT4TT: Knowledge Translation Embedded in Technology Transfer
This issue of FOCUS provides examples of how technology-focused grantees funded by NIDRR can embed knowledge translation efforts throughout the technology transfer process, and describes the Product Utilization Support and Help (PUSH) Award.
Image of publication cover FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 32: Knowledge Value Mapping of National Organizations: A Knowledge Translation Strategy to Efficiently Communicate Research-Based Knowledge to Multiple Stakeholder Audiences
This issue of FOCUS describes the results from a series of comparative case studies exploring how selected national organizations, representing different stakeholder groups, can play an important role in communicating new research findings to diverse audiences. Knowledge value mapping helps understand the context of each organization’s mission and the interests of their members.
Image of publication cover FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 33: External Validity in Research on Rehabilitative Interventions: Issues for Knowledge Translation
This issue of FOCUS discusses external validity and what rehabilitation researchers can do to help practitioners answer the question “How far can we generalize this finding–– is it applicable to other clients/ patients, with different characteristics, in dissimilar settings treated by other clinicians?,” which clinicians and other practitioners ask whenever researchers publish evidence in support of a new or revised intervention.

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