Including KT Research in Your NIDILRR Project Design
Virginia Commonwealth University
RRTC on Employment for People with Physical Disabilities
Submitted by Katherine Inge
NIDILRR-supported research activities can focus on the effectiveness of knowledge translation strategies and expand our understanding of the best methods of producing knowledge translation outcomes benefiting persons with physical disabilities.
Virginia Commonwealth University was funded by NIDILRR to establish the RRTC on Employment for People with Physical Disabilities in 2013. The purpose of the VCU-RRTC is to conduct advanced research, training, technical assistance, and dissemination activities specifically to improve the employment outcomes of individuals with physical disabilities.
Most of the research related to effective knowledge translation methodologies has been conducted within the healthcare arena. While this is relevant to grantees in the Health and Function portfolio, it may be as relevant to other NIDILRR grantees not working within the health-focused environment. To increase understanding about effective knowledge translation with a specific focus on the disability community, NIDILRR grantees can include focused research activities to compare and contrast the effectiveness across different knowledge translation activities/strategies. The research that is being conducted by the VCU-RRTC is an example of knowledge translation activities targeted to the disability community.
This RRTC design includes a series of research activities that focus on determining what specific groups of individuals with physical disabilities want to know about employment. Targeted groups include individuals with spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, cerebral palsy, and transition-age youth with physical disabilities. The stated purpose of the RRTC’s Research Study is to “engage people with physical disabilities in the design, research, and ongoing knowledge translation of activities involved in developing and maintaining a RRTC and national resource center on employment.”
KT Questions that will be answered: The RRTC has several KT-oriented research questions that the RRTC will answer. Some of these include:
- What are the most commonly reported barriers and facilitators to employment that are identified by people with physical disabilities?
- What are the most common employment information and resource needs reported by people with physical disabilities?
- What KT strategies are reported by people with physical disabilities as most useful or preferred for obtaining evidence-based information?
- What is the relationship between demographics and the KT strategies used or preferred by people with physical disabilities to access evidence-based knowledge?
- Is the targeted KT strategy superior to the traditional strategy for acquiring and using evidence-based knowledge on employment by people with physical disabilities?
- What is the relationship between demographics and the effective KT strategies for acquiring evidence-based research knowledge on employment by people with physical disabilities?
The VCU-RRTC expects the impact of its research to increase understanding about effective KT addressing how to plan for information uptake by people with physical disabilities. Their stated outcomes and expected benefits are to “lead to new evidence-based knowledge about the way people with physical disabilities acquire and use information and resources to facilitate employment outcomes.”
This example highlights how a NIDILRR grantee can include a focus on expanding the understanding of effective knowledge translation approaches within specific spheres of the disability community as a part of proposed research activities. As research results are learned, the KTDRR will update this case example. You may read more about this research by visiting: http://vcurrtc.org/research/studies/research_1.cfm
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