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The Canadian Disability Participation Project


Led by Dr. Kathleen Martin Ginis, we are a partnership of nearly 50 academics, community organizations, government agencies and a private sector organization, united in the common goal of enhancing community participation among Canadians who have a physical disability. Together, we have designed a program of research and knowledge translation that addresses three participation domains: Employment, Community Mobility, and Physical Activity. In surveys of Canadians with disabilities, these three domains consistently emerge among the most desired forms of participation and the most restricted.

1 in 15 Canadians report a disability that interferes with their daily living. The vast majority (> 70%) report disabilities associated with mobility, pain or agility/dexterity. Youth and adults with these types of disabilities are our focus.

Our goal is to design and implement, evidence-based practices that will enhance both the number of people with disabilities who participate, as well as the quality of participation. Quality participation can include ensuring that people’s skills and abilities are utilized to their full potential, that leadership skills are cultivated, and contributions are valued and respected.

Our partnership’s approach is unique insofar as our research and knowledge translation activities are community-driven. First, community partners identified key challenges to full participation; together, community and academic partners then designed a research program to generate evidence that can be translated into solutions. Solutions may be in the form of new policies and practices, training programs, guidelines, checklists, information kits, etc.

Some examples of anticipated deliverables include: a comprehensive analysis of barriers and tested solutions to participation; economic/cost-benefit analysis of employing Canadians with disabilities; training tools and services to help employers, caregivers, and coaches facilitate participation.

Some examples of methods to be used include: scoping reviews and meta-analysis; utility analysis; field studies; controlled experiments; policy analysis; life-course analysis.

The partnership is funded by a 7-year, $2.6M grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (2014-2021). Partners have pledged matching contributions through in-kind and other support.

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