The Disability-Inclusive Employment Policy Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (DIEP RRTC) is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR, grant #90RTEM0006-01-00) in the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services. Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, Harvard Medical School, and Rutgers University are partnering to design and implement a series of studies that produce new data and evidence on DIEP policy to increase employment rates and outcomes for persons with disabilities.
The research will examine federal, regional, state, and private industry policies and programs to identify critical outcomes and impacts that improve employment entry options, better wage and income levels, worker retention and job quality and benefits, career growth and paths to economic stability, employment reengagement in the event of job loss and reduced dependence on Social Security disability benefits.
At its core, the DIEP RRTC’s purpose is to develop evidence-based research and tools that ensure people with disabilities who are seeking work, employed, underemployed, or unemployed are able maximize their “equality of opportunity, full inclusion and integration in society, employment, independent living, and economic and social self-sufficiency” (Rehab Act Section 2(a)(6)(B)).
The DIEP RRTC will:
(1) identify new evidence-based employment-related policy development for policy makers;
(2) increase knowledge of evidence-based practices to enhance worker retention and quality of work experience for businesses and human resource professionals;
(3) increase knowledge of evidence-based strategies to improve employment, job retention, and employment reengagement for employment service providers assisting persons with disabilities;
(4) identify new strategies to support job seekers with disabilities for vocational rehabilitation (VR) and workforce development professionals;
(5) enhance access to new knowledge and exploration of alternative paths to employment and career advancement for individuals with disabilities;
(6) produce new data and evidence to support existing and next-generation research for researchers and students; and
(7) establish a disability policy framework to advance employment and economic self-sufficiency for working-age adults with disabilities.
Knowledge Translation Partners
The DIEP RRTC brings together a consortium of nationally recognized researchers from multiple disciplines including economics, psychology, law and public policy, business management and health. The research team is complemented by ten national associations with outreach to targeted audiences for knowledge translation and utilization activities.
- Disability:IN (employers)
- National Governors Association (state policy leaders)
- Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (state VR professionals)
- Association of People Supporting Employment First (employment service providers)
- American Association of People with Disabilities and Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU) (independent living directors
- National Disability Institute (community nonprofit; financial institution executives)
- The Center on Women and Work (women from minority backgrounds)
- The ABLE National Resource Center (ABLE account owners with disabilities).