An Employment Snapshot of People with Disabilities in California

Patricia Yeager

The Community Research for Assistive Technology (CR4AT) project is a project of the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC) in collaboration with the California State University, Northridge and the University of Northern Colorado. CR4AT is funded by a five year NIDRR grant to study use and effectiveness of assistive technology. As part of this grant, CR4AT conducted a statewide survey, collecting information on assistive technology experiences, including those related to employment.

As a part of this grant, CR4AT conducted a statewide survey, collecting information on assistive technology experiences of Californians with disabilities. Using a participatory action research (PAR) model, people with disabilities participated in the research process at every level. This included identifying the topics and questions, recruiting respondents and conducting the pilot. Surveys and postage-paid return envelopes were mailed by California independent living centers to their consumers. Consumers were able to complete the survey online, by paper, telephone or with an interviewer/interpreter. Consumers received incentives of twenty dollars. Participating centers received ten dollars per completed survey. Surveys were identified by an alpha-numeric coding process. The pilot collected just over 300 responses. The full survey will run through the spring with results available in the summer. Data will cover the types of devices used at work and the AT funding issues for work employment accommodations.

CFILC is a statewide disability advocacy organization and the purpose of this project is to collect research data to inform our advocacy. The fourth and fifth years of this project are dedicated to action and dissemination. Data from this survey will be used to affect systems change and public policy.


Presentation Slides:
Slides 1-10
Slides 11-20


Patricia Yeager is the Executive Director of the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC), the “trade association” of ILCs in California. She has been active in the independent living movement for more than 19 years, promoting access to higher education in Pittsburgh and Denver, shaping public policies, as well as developing and implementing services at ILCs in Denver, Houston and San Diego. She holds an M.S. from West Virginia University, her home state. She has since gone on to serve on the Rehabilitation advisory council, State Independent Living Council, and State Developmental Disabilities council and Private industry Council in several states.

Presentation from the 'Workplace Accommodations: State of the Science' conference, September 15-16, 2005, Atlanta, GA


NIDRR

CATEA