SEDL Wins Contract for New Disability and Rehabilitation Research Center

August 20, 2012
Austin, Texas

Laura Shankland
Communications Associate
Phone: 512-391-6556

SEDL has been awarded a 5-year, $3.75 million federal grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research to operate a new national project, the Center on Knowledge Translation for Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

The center will promote the use of relevant and high-quality disability and rehabilitation research. “There is already an overwhelming amount of disability research, but researchers and practitioners don’t always have the time to review all of the studies related to their work,” says John Westbrook, principal researcher for the study. To address this problem center staff will work with National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) grantees to facilitate the creation of research syntheses and summarizing research through an established procedure called a systematic review. “We want to ensure that disability researchers look at all of the evidence, not just the results of one study before making research or health care decisions.” Westbrook hopes that better use of existing research will result in more effective practices and better options for people with disabilities.

The center also aims to help NIDRR researchers find ways to ensure that disability practitioners use research findings. “In the past researchers would complete a study and publish the information, but there was a missing piece,” says Westbrook. “Now we ask, ‘How can we ensure that research is actually used so that it benefits people with disabilities?’” SEDL will achieve this by working with four international partners that are world leaders in improving the visibility and use of research evidence: the Campbell Collaboration, the Cochrane Collaboration, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Coordinating Centre.

The center will build on SEDL’s already extensive work in the area of disability research. “We are pleased to receive this grant so we can continue to ensure what we know from disability research reaches intended audiences, is understood, and then used to benefit individuals with disabilities,” said SEDL president and CEO Wes Hoover. “The center’s work will impact how research evidence is identified, how policy is created, and how disability research is ultimately used.”

About SEDL

SEDL (formerly Southwest Educational Development Laboratory) is a nonprofit corporation based in Austin, Texas. SEDL is dedicated to solving significant education problems and improving teaching and learning through research, research-based resources, and professional development. For more information about SEDL, visit

About the Center on Knowledge Translation for Disability and Rehabilitation Research

This national initiative is funded by a 5-year grant. The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research in the U.S. Department of Education will cover 99% ($3,750,000.00) of the costs, and non-governmental sources will cover the remaining 1% ($37,500) of the costs.