Center for Disability Research and Service
Vision and Mission: To facilitate the integration of individuals with disabilities into the fabric of American life, exemplifying the values of independence (having the choice and control of one's life), productivity (real money for real work), and inclusion (to live, work, and play in the community of one's choice) accomplished through research and outreach.
Changing lives through Independence, Productivity, and Inclusion
- Integration of individuals with the most significant disabilities into every aspect of society
- Universal design that benefits everyone
- Collaboration with stakeholder organizations
- Research to test and show effective practices and put in place evidence-based practices
- Timely dissemination of research findings to stakeholders
The CDRS fulfills its mission and pursues its core values through research in three component areas.
Assistive Technology and Innovation
- Assistive technology (AT) to increase independence at work, with schedules, reminders, social interactions, and visual prompts.
- Partnership with the College of Architecture, Design and Construction, School of Industrial and Graphic Design at Auburn University to create innovative and affordable technology addressing the needs of individuals with disabilities that simultaneously benefit everyone (i.e., universal design).
- ALATEC - Alabama Assistive Technology Expo and Conference, an annual event for consumers, service providers, and professionals.
- AT demonstrations and consultations for individuals with disabilities across the life span - education, employment, and recreation.
Educational and Community Support
- Identify practices that increase success for students as they move into adult roles.
- Model replication of Positive Behavior Supports that benefit students in the classroom and individuals in the workplace.
- Research that looks at the value of CONNECTIONS, a social skills program, for young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder as they move into adult roles to reach their goals.
- Partnerships with agencies to conduct research that replicates practices that increase access to employment, education, and recreation.
Program Research and Evaluation
- Research to identify services, strategies, and creative approaches to increase employment, independence, and community integration of individuals with the most significant disabilities.
- Program evaluation to improve services and working alliances of organizations that assist people with disabilities, such as consumer satisfaction, comprehensive needs assessments, and service delivery transformation.
- Continuing education and technical assistance to increase implementation and use of evidence-based practices for rehabilitation and education professionals.
- Strategic planning assistance and training based on state and regional agency and organizational needs.
- Conduct focus groups (consumers and stakeholders) and collect data to ensure fidelity to the model while implementing supported employment in Alabama.
- Research opportunities for graduate students within the Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, and Counseling.