We believe there is no aspect of the ADA more urgently important to address than the equal opportunity to community participation. Twenty-seven years after the passage of the ADA, there has been important progress. But the vision of ‘maximum community participation’ are far from met.
Despite comprehensive ADA network services in New England, there remain ADA knowledge and implementation gaps. To understand why these gaps exist, we have established a new research partnership and research priority. Working with the former US Census statistician specializing in disability and now doctoral candidate Matthew Brault at Harvard University, we want to understand emerging and projected reasons for disability in New England and inside the 6 states that comprise New England: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Since 1990, the nature and prevalence rates of disabilities have dramatically changed, and are now mostly driven by an aging population! We need to come to grips with this new reality of disability and plan communities that benefit all.
Some preliminary research results below:
New England ADA Center Published Research 2011
The following refereed publications are the results of cooperative research efforts between the New England ADA Center and Drexel University's Center for Labor Market Policies from 2006-2011.
Recent data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics allows assessment of the impact of the Great Recession on working age persons with disabilities in America. Following an overview of the nature and scope of the Great Recession, the labor market experiences of persons with and without disabilities are compared for 16 of the 22 months of its duration. Differences which favor those without disabilities were detected in the labor market rate, the official unemployment rate, and in the desire for work among those who have quit the workforce. These differences persisted among subgroups based upon age and educational attainment. Finally, the reasons for unemployment are quite different for persons with and without disabilities.
Our research found that community colleges appear to enroll disproportionately large shares of students with disabilities. To meet the challenge of increasing the number of associate degree awards, new organizational designs, programs and incentives are needed to increase retention and graduation of students with disabilities.