Individual Projects

There are six veins of research:

  • School empowerment and transition support
  • Violently acquired spinal cord injury
  • Policy
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Parents with disabilities
  • Assistive technology

Assistive technology

Evaluation of the Assistive Technology Needs of Latinos with Disabilities (AT)

Dates: 2003-2004
Population: Latino Adults with Physical or Sensory Disabilities
Funding Source: Contract from NIDRR
Purpose: A national survey of the AT needs of adults with disabilities yielded very few Latino respondents. This contract intended to collect 150 responses from Latinos from both rural and urban communities regarding AT needs and barriers for obtaining or utilizing AT devices and supports.

Parents with disabilities

Young Moms with Disabilities (Parents)

Dates: 2002-2004
Population: Minority Special Education Female Students who are Mothers, and Dropout Female Students who are also mothers
Funding Source: OSEP, Graduate Student Dissertation Award
Purpose: Conduct a qualitative evaluation of the reasons why some young African American and/or Latino mothers are able to stay in school and why some others dropout when they become mothers.


Partners in Policy Making (Policy)

Dates: 2001-2002
Population: Parents of individuals with development disabilities (DD) and consumers
Funding Source: Illinois Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities
Purpose: Provide state-of-the-art advocacy training so participants could advance the state’ agenda for improving services and supports to people with DD.

Promoting the ADA in the Latino Community (Policy)

Dates: 1993-1997
Population: Latino adults with disabilities, Business Community of Chicago
Funding Source: NIDRR
Purpose: Educate and organize Latinos with Disabilities in Chicago about the Americans with Disability Act and promote enforcement of the act through advocacy training and community education.

Promoting Compliance with the ADA through Capacity Building (Policy)

Dates: 1997-2000
Population: African American and Latino Adults with disabilities from the city of Chicago
Funding Source: NIDRR
Purpose: Develop and evaluate a model for building community capacity to promote compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act in the city of Chicago. The project included several model demonstration projects and accessibility assessments across the city.

School empowerment and transition support

Back-to-School & Work (School)

Dates: 1993-1997
Population: Latino Dropout Youth
Funding Source: OSERS
Purpose: Recruit and empower youth with disabilities to return to education programs and/or become gainfully employed by providing case management as well as leadership training.

Choices In Transition (School)

Dates: 2004-2007
Population: Minority youth with disabilities attending Chicago Public High Schools, teachers and parents
Funding Source: CCP, CPS
Purpose: To evaluate transition outcomes of CPS students high school students with disabilities.

Choices in Transition Model Dissemination (School)

Dates: 2004-2006
Population: Minority youth with disabilities attending Chicago Public High Schools, teachers and parents
Funding Source: OSEP
Purpose: To disseminate curriculum and procedures to promote transition from school to post-secondary education and employment and experimentally evaluate the relative effectiveness of common approaches for information dissemination and curriculum implementation support.

The College Connection (School)

Dates: 2000-2005
Population: Minority special education graduates
Funding Source: RSA
Purpose: Provide comprehensive supports to facilitate the successful transition form High School to Community College Programs for career development that will result in competitive employment. Develop the capacity of CPS, CCC and IORS to implement project strategies.

Empowering Choices (School)

Dates: 1997-2000
Population: African-American and Latino Juniors & Seniors
Funding Source: RSA
Purpose: Prepare a group of participants for competitive employment or post-secondary education after graduation by empowering them through the use of intensive case management and skills development.

Project LEAP (School)

Dates: 2000-2001
Population: Young adults with disabilitieis exiting CPS
Funding Source: CPS
Purpose: To provide continud support to young adults completing secondary education in the CPS system. Support includes instruction on rights abd resources that will maximize access to positive post-school outcomes.

Transitional Opportunities Project (School)

Dates: 2001-2004
Population: Middle School and High School youth with disabilities
Funding Source: Chicago Mayor’s Office for Workforce Development (WIA/TWIA)
Purpose: Provide comprehensive transition support to youth starting at the middle school level and continuing through post-secondary age. Meets the goals of the Workforce Investment Act with regard to in-school youth.

Urban Passage Mentoring (School)

Dates: 2000-2002
Population: DCFS children with disabilities
Funding Source: ILPCDD
Purpose: Provide skills development and mentors to a group of 12-14 year olds as a mechanism for reducing at-risk behaviors and promoting improved school.

Youth Leadership Development Project (School)

Dates: 1996-2005
Population: High School youth with disabilities
Funding Source: Chicago Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities
Purpose: Provide summer training program to promote leadership skills among participants. Includes personal skills development as well as leadership training.

Violently acquired spinal cord injury

The Disabling Bullet (VASCI)

Dates: 1999-2003
Population: Ethnic Minority youth with violently acquired spinal cord injuries
Funding Source: OSEP
Purpose: To develop, implement and evaluate a peer-mentor program for young men who have sustained spinal cord injuries as a result of violence. The program focuses on helping individuals with violence-related disabilities successfully reintegrate into the community and accomplish their independent living goals.

Vocational rehabilitation

Barriers to Employment among African Americans With Disabilities (VR)

Dates: 2003-2004
Population: African American Adults with Disabilities
Funding Source: Disability Research Institute Award, Social Security Administration
Purpose: To examine the perceived barriers for securing employment among African American Adults with Disabilities and their satisfaction with vocational rehabilitation services.

An Empowerment Approach to Promote Goal Attainment among Vocational Rehabilitation Consumers (VR)

Dates: 1990-1993
Population: VR consumers
Funding Source: OSEP
Purpose: Experimentally evaluate an empowering approach for promoting goal attainment among VR consumers. Examine the effectiveness of the approach under field conditions.