Connecting Disability Research to Practice

Briefs and Reports

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SECC Information Request: Technologies and Best Practices for Teaching K–12 Students With Visual Impairments (2016)
This document discusses technologies and best practices for teaching K–12 students with visual impairments
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Behavioral, Psychological, Educational and Vocational Interventions to Facilitate Employment Outcomes for Cancer Survivors: A Systematic Review (2015)

The objective of this systematic review is to examine experimental and quasi-experimental studies about interventions that (i) include one or more behavioral, psychological, educational, or vocational components, (ii) involve cancer survivors aged 18 years or older, and (iii) assess intervention outcomes on employment outcomes. The aims are both to describe the variety of interventions that have been studied using rigorous methods and to estimate intervention effects.

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Employment Interventions for Return to Work in Working Aged Adults Following Traumatic Brain Injury: Systematic Review (2015)
The purpose of this review is to identify and assess the evidence related to interventions for individuals with traumatic brain injury that are directly focused on return to work.
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Highlights from a KTER Center Systematic Review—Employment Interventions for Return to Work in Working Aged Adults Following Traumatic Brain Injury: KTER Center Technical Brief #6 (2015)
This technical brief presents the findings and implications for Employment Interventions for Return to Work in Working Aged Adults Following Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): A Systematic Review.
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Highlights from a KTER Center Systematic Review: Behavioral, Psychological, Educational and Vocational Interventions to Facilitate Employment Outcomes for Cancer Survivors: KTER Center Technical Brief #5 (2015)

This technical brief presents the findings and implications for Behavioral, Psychological, Educational and Vocational Interventions to Facilitate Employment Outcomes for Cancer Survivors: A Systematic Review.

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SECC Information Request: Approaches for Improving High School Graduation Rates of Students with Disabilities in CA, FL, NC, and TX (2014)
A number of states are implementing strategies for improving high school graduation rates of students with disabilities. This report takes a closer look at such efforts in the states of California, Florida, North Carolina, and Texas.
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SECC Information Request: Approaches for Improving High School Graduation Rates of Students with Disabilities in DE, KY, MD, and TN (2014)
Efforts to improve graduation rates for students with disabilities in four states are explored as well as any potential impacts on student achievement.
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State Differences in Knowledge and Application of Evidence-Based Practice by Vocational Rehabilitation Agency Staff: KTER Center Technical Brief #4 (2014)
The Knowledge Translation for Employment Research Center at SEDL and its partner, Virginia Commonwealth University, conducted an online survey of staff in state vocational rehabilitation agencies regarding their knowledge and use of evidence-based practice (EBP). This technical brief reports our findings, reporting state differences concerning the use of research, and discussing EBP in employment services for individuals with disabilities.
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FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 36: Infinity Communication Access Lab Recognized With 2012 Product Utilization Support and Help (PUSH) Award (2013)
This FOCUS Technical Brief describes the exemplary knowledge translation work of the winner of the Center on KT4TT's 2012 PUSH Award. The recipient, Infinity Communication Access Lab, is a partnership between Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and the Toronto District School Board in Toronto, Canada. The lab aims to discover person-centered access solutions and to ensure that those solutions are transferred into environments true to where children live and learn. Dr. Tom Chau oversees the lab, which serves 130 public school students with a range of developmental conditions.
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Pre-Graduation Transition Services for Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Effects on Employment Outcomes (A Campbell Collaboration Systematic Review) (2013)

This systematic review aims determine the effectiveness of pre-graduation interventions aimed at persons with autism spectrum disorders to shape behaviors, social interactions, and/or skills that result in employment in mainstream competitive employment settings.

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Vocational Rehabilitation Service Models for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders: Guide to Effective Employment Programs (2013)

From October 2008 through September 2013, SEDL’s Vocational Rehabilitation Service Models for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders project worked to improve employment outcomes for people with autism spectrum disorders by conducting research and disseminating information about effective strategies and services. The Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at the University of Central Florida was SEDL’s partner in this project. One activity of this project was identifying effective programs. This guide discusses the results of that study and outlines effective practices of vocational rehabilitation vendors.

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FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 34: Tracking Evidence of Knowledge Use Through Knowledge Translation, Technology Transfer, and Commercial Transactions (2012)
This FOCUS Technical Brief, which extends FOCUS No. 26, explains how knowledge translation and technology transfer contribute to not only technological innovation but also commercial transaction, which is the actual transformation of knowledge embodied in products and services into beneficial socioeconomic impacts.
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FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 35: Modeling Technology Innovation: Combining Science, Engineering, and Industry Methods to Achieve Beneficial Socioeconomic Impacts Systematically and Deliberately (2012)
This FOCUS Technical Brief summarizes a paper recently published in the open-access journal Implementation Science. The full paper presents a conceptual framework that integrates all three knowledge-generating methods—scientific research (R), engineering development (D), and industry production (P)—into a logic model format, which is useful for planning, obtaining, and measuring the intended beneficial impacts by implementing knowledge in practice.
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Benefits of Supported Employment for Workers with Intellectual Disabilities: KTER Center Technical Brief #2 (2011)
This brief presents an overview of The National Cost-Efficiency of Supported Employees with Intellectual Disabilities: The Worker's Perspective (Cimera, 2010).
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FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 31: Do Cultural Competency Interventions Work? A Systematic Review on Improving Rehabilitation Outcomes for Ethnically and Linguistically Diverse Individuals with Disabilities (2011)
This issue of FOCUS describes a systematic review that was conducted to address a critically important research question about cultural competency by taking stock of the current literature and evidence. The review examined whether cultural competency interventions improve rehabilitation outcomes for ethnically and linguistically diverse individuals with disabilities, and if so, for whom and under what conditions.
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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 (2011)
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.
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FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 33: External Validity in Research on Rehabilitative Interventions: Issues for Knowledge Translation (2011)
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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Knowledge and Application of Evidence-Based Practice by State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency Staff: KTER Center Technical Brief #3 (2011)
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.
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Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners: Texas Comprehensive Center Briefing Paper, Number 7 (2011)
Effectively meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse population of students presents challenges for educators across the United States, including the Texas and Southeast Comprehensive Center regions. To support ever more rigorous achievement expectations, educators need to provide flexible, accessible curricula that give students’ multiple pathways to success and secure opportunities for all children.
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Strategies for Reemployment of Dislocated Workers with Disabilities: KTER Center Technical Brief #1 (2011)
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."
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FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 24: Documenting Disparities in Obesity and Disability (2010)
This FOCUS, presents NIDRR-funded research highlighting the disparities in obesity experienced by youth and adults with disabilities, potential consequences of those disparities, and suggestions for addressing these disparities. Authors James H. Rimmer, PhD; Edward Wang, PhD; Kiyoshi Yamaki, PhD; and Brienne Davis, MPH conducted the research for the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project (DRRP) "Reducing Obesity and Obesity-Related Secondary Conditions in Adolescents with Disabilities" (H133A060066), Center on Health Promotion for Persons with Disabilities, University of Illinois at Chicago.
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FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 25: Mixed-Methods Systematic Reviews: Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative Findings (2010)
This FOCUS is adapted from Dr. Angela Harden's presentation at the "National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) Knowledge Translation Conference," held July 29, 2009, in Washington, DC. Widely known for her methodological work integrating qualitative research into systematic reviews, she is an active contributor to the Cochrane and Campbell Collaborations and has a keen interest in research synthesis and knowledge translation. She has conducted extensive research into the health of young people and the communities in which they live.
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FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 26: Facilitating Technology-Based Knowledge Utilization (2010)
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.
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FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 27: Low-Cost and No-Cost Steps in Research Design to Improve the Quality of Evidence (2010)
This edition of FOCUS, authored by Marcel P. J. M. Dijkers, PhD, offers low-cost and no-cost steps that rehabilitation researchers can take to strengthen the quality of their evidence and, thereby, the likelihood of their work receiving a high evidence grade and being included in systematic reviews.
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FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 28: The Need to Knowledge Model: A Roadmap to Successful Outputs for NIDRR Grantees (2010)
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.
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FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 30: KT4TT: Knowledge Translation Embedded in Technology Transfer (2010)
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.
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FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 23: The Use of CIRRIE's Database of International Rehabilitation Research in Conducting Systematic Reviews (2009)
This FOCUS, describes the Center for International Rehabilitation Research Information and Exchange’s (CIRRIE) bibliographic database of International Rehabilitation Research. The database is useful for conducting systematic reviews. It includes research conducted in most geographic regions of the world as well as citations to articles originally published in languages other than English.
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FOCUS Technical Brief, Number 22: The Role of Single-Subject Experimental Designs in Evidence-Based Practice Times (2009)
This FOCUS, written by Ralf W. Schlosser, PhD, describes high-quality, single-subject experimental designs (SSEDs) in terms of establishing empirically supported treatments and implementing evidence-based practice (EBP).
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FOCUS Technical Briefs (2009)
Published by the National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research (NCDDR), each FOCUS Technical Brief explores a specific topic related to disability and rehabilitation research.
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The Challenge of Evidence in Disability and Rehabilitation Research and Practice: A Position Paper (2009)
This paper states the position of the National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research (NCDDR) Task Force on Standards of Evidence and Methods (TFSE) regarding the need for (a) the thoughtful determination of research evidence on the basis of both the rigor of the research and the relevance of the research to the lives of people with disabilities; and (b) systems that facilitate our ability, on a timely basis, to describe what the best available evidence is in response to specific topical questions in disability and rehabilitation.
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When the Best Is the Enemy of the Good: The Nature of Research Evidence Used in Systematic Reviews and Guidelines (2009)
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.
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FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 19: Getting Published and Having an Impact: Turning Rehabilitation Research Results Into Gold (2008)
This FOCUS suggests strategies that rehabilitation researchers can use to maximize their work—turning "research results into gold." In the disability and rehabilitation research community, it is important for researchers to be cognizant of how published results of research studies can facilitate or limit their use in answering important evidence-based questions.
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FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 20: Campbell Collaboration Establishes Disability Subgroup (2008)
This FOCUS, highlights exciting new developments within the international Campbell Collaboration (C2) establishing a disability subgroup. A previous issue of FOCUS (Technical Brief, No. 16, 2007) provides background information about C2 and its work regarding systematic reviews.
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FOCUS Technical Brief, Number 21: Why Is Knowledge Translation Important? Grounding the Conversation (2008)
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.
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FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 16: The Campbell Collaboration: Systematic Reviews and Implications for Evidence-Based Practice (2007)
This issue of FOCUS, written by Herb M. Turner III, PhD and Chad Nye, PhD, highlights the work of the Campbell Collaboration (C2) and the development of systematic reviews of research evidence.
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FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 17: Appraising the Quality of Systematic Reviews (2007)
This FOCUS is part two of a three part series on systematic reviews. This issue describes critical considerations for appraising the quality of a systematic review including the protocol, question, sources, scope, selection principles, and data extraction. The author also describes tools for appraising systematic reviews.
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FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 18: Knowledge Translation at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research: A Primer (2007)
This FOCUS describes the work of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and efforts to translate knowledge from the research setting into real-world applications for the benefit of Canadians.
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FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 13: Meet the New NCDDR (2006)
This issue of FOCUS summarizes the KT process as described by several international authors. International scholars, particularly from Canada and Europe, have published numerous articles on KT processes and strategies. While the majority of these KT articles are published in medical and health-care journals, there is a growing interest in applying the KT concept more generically (i.e., knowledge to action) and to other disciplines, including disability and rehabilitation research.
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FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 15: The Role of Systematic Reviews in Evidence-Based Practice, Research, and Development (2006)
This issue of FOCUS, written by Ralf W. Schlosser, PhD, is part one of a three part series on the topic of evidence-based technology. This issue provides an overview of systematic reviews in research and development. Systematic reviews aim to synthesize the results of multiple original studies by using strategies that delimit bias. Systematic reviews can be used to inform evidence-based practice, which is increasingly shaping the disability and rehabilitation research field.
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FOCUS Technical Brief, Number 14: Overview of International Literature on Knowledge Translation (2006)
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.
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FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 12: What Consumers and Researchers Say About Research (2005)
The NCDDR and the Research Utilization Support and Help (RUSH) project at the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory conducted two studies in 2005 with different audiences in order to learn more about their perceptions of research and how best to get information to diverse groups of end users. This issue of FOCUS shares the findings from the two studies and suggests potential implications.
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FOCUS - Technical Brief Number 9: What Are the Standards for Quality Research? (2005)
This issue of FOCUS discusses principles and standards for quality research, the basis for these standards, and strategies for reporting quality research. In the fields of disability and rehabilitation research, there is a healthy debate regarding the specific criteria for quality research, and the specific checklists to be used to standardize reporting. As the debate ensues, there are many ideas emerging in the public domain related to quality research and quality evidence that can be used to help guide the discussion.
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FOCUS Technical Brief, Number 10: What is Knowledge Translation? (2005)
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.
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FOCUS Technical Brief, Number 11: Communities of Practice: A Strategy for Sharing and Building Knowledge (2005)
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.
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Inclusion: The Pros & Cons: Issues About Change, Volume 4, Number 3 (1995)
This paper provides a balanced look at the issues arising from current policies toward inclusion and maps out considerations school and district leaders should keep in mind when setting special education policies.