Study Seeks to Learn More About Workers with Disabilities

Researchers hope to learn how people with impaired mobility manage to do their jobs

Software development engineer Scott Bennett, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, works in his accessible office (2009 photo)
Article Highlights:
  • Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis are conducting a Web-based survey of employed people with significant mobility impairments.
  • Eligible participants must be at least 18 years old, work at least 20 hours a week and have been at their current job for at least two years, plus meet other study criteria.
  • The study aims to understand how people with impaired mobility accomplish tasks at work, how the workplace environment affects their participation, and what kinds of supports they need to do their jobs successfully.
by Miriam Davidson on December 28, 2010 - 2:42pm

If you’re a person with a disability who also manages to hold down a job, researchers are interested in finding out how you do it.

A new study is looking for people who work outside the home at least 20 hours a week and who also have significant mobility impairments, such as difficulty moving their legs and/or arms.

The study aims to identify factors that enable some people with disabilities to have successful careers. It will examine how people with impaired mobility are able to accomplish tasks at work, how the workplace environment affects their participation, and what kinds of supports they need to do their jobs successfully.

The study consists of a confidential, Web-based survey taken twice over the course of four to six weeks. The survey takes about an hour to complete, and participants will be compensated for their time. All information will be private and no connection will be made between participants and their survey answers.

To be eligible, participants must:

  • have a mobility impairment and limitation;
  • be employed for at least two years at their current job;
  • work at least 20 hours a week;
  • be at least 18 years of age;
  • have access to a computer;
  • be able to enter responses or direct another person to enter responses into a computer; and
  • read at a sixth-grade level or above.

The study is being conducted by the Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University in St. Louis, in collaboration with the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center – Great Plains ADA Center. It is being funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research at the U.S. Department of Education.

For more information and to take a pre-survey to determine eligibility, please go to Study Participation Eligibility and Registration Survey.

Note: Individuals who participated in the original Washington University Program in Occupational Therapy Disability Employment Study at not eligible for this study at this time.

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