National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research (NCDDR)
SEDL operates the National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research (NCDDR) through funding from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). The scope of work of the NCDDR responds to NIDRR's concern for increasing the effective use of NIDRR-sponsored research results in shaping new technologies, improving service delivery, and expanding decision-making options for people with disabilities and their families.
The NCDDR leverages resources through collaborative working relationships with experts in standards of evidence and systematic reviews, NIDRR-funded researchers, and agencies engaged in disseminating disability research results. Significant features of the NCDDR approach include:
- a Standards and Research Review Board that uses consensus-building strategies to develop standards of evidence for NIDRR-sponsored research;
- partnership with key representatives from the Campbell Collaboration to establish a Disability Research Coordinating Group that will provide an infrastructure for conducting and disseminating systematic reviews;
- partnership with the international Cochrane Collaboration to facilitate the participation of NIDRR grantees in Cochrane review activities;
- work with representatives from the Campbell and Cochrane Collaborations, as well as other experts, to provide training and technical assistance for researchers who commit to conducting systematic reviews, and for grantees who are seeking to have their research included in systematic reviews;
- a Registry of Systematic Reviews addressing disability and rehabilitation research to increase consumer access to evidence-based knowledge and to make disability research more readily available for inclusion in systematic reviews;
- technical assistance to NIDRR grantees and facilitation of discussions between NIDRR staff and experts in the field, to encourage the design and conduct of studies that lend themselves to inclusion in systematic reviews;
- communities of practice for NIDRR grantees on research quality and on outreach to diverse audiences;
- webcasts and other strategies for linking producers and consumers of disability research to discuss issues of research quality, applicability to diverse audiences, relevance, and utility.
Overview of the NCDDR's Scope of Work (2006-2010)
Goals and Objectives
The long-term goal of the NCDDR is: To expand production, access, dissemination, and use of disability and rehabilitation research evidence among NIDRR management and grantees, people with disabilities and their families, and disability-oriented professionals, practitioners and service providers.
This goal will be addressed through the following five performance objectives:
- To identify standards of evidence addressing the rigor and sensitivity of NIDRR-sponsored research.
- To increase the number of systematic reviews that address disability and rehabilitation research topics.
- To increase opportunities for NIDRR-sponsored research to be included in systematic reviews.
- To facilitate access to and use of evidence-based knowledge addressing disability and rehabilitation research topics.
- To provide ongoing assistance to NIDRR grantees in improving the quality and scope of their dissemination, utilization, and knowledge translation outcomes.
This scope of work addresses multiple target populations. The primary direct target population for this work is current and future NIDRR grantees — the researchers whose products and findings are intended to improve the lives of persons with disabilities, their families, and their service providers. Some project activities and services are directly targeted to other than grantees, however, for the most part, those who can benefit from and take advantage of improvements in the quality and accessibility of disability-related research represent indirect target populations.
The project design addresses each of the six functions outlined under NIDRR's priority for the NCDDR:
- "Identify standards, guidelines, and methods appropriate for developing evidence-based systematic reviews of disability and rehabilitation research"
The NCDDR has established a Standards and Research Review Board comprised of NIDRR grantees to review standards of evidence with facilitation and support from NCDDR staff and expert consultants. This approach ensures both the rigor and quality of standards and the buy-in necessary for their actual use.
- "Serve as a technical assistance resource to NIDRR grantees to ensure that research studies will meet standards for inclusion in evidence-based systematic reviews"
The NCDDR offers technical assistance organized around standards of evidence and strategies for addressing them in research designs, implementation, and reporting. In addition, the NCDDR provides information resources and consultations to help current research grantees assess whether there may be no-cost or low-cost modifications to their current activities, such as reporting formats, that will facilitate inclusion in systematic reviews.
- "Develop partnerships with existing collaborations and registries to identify gaps and opportunities and to facilitate the systematic review of disability and rehabilitation research"
The NCDDR has secured the support and involvement of key representatives from the Campbell Collaboration (C2) and has established contacts with international and U.S. offices of the Cochrane Collaboration, which are leaders in facilitating systematic reviews in disciplines related to disability and rehabilitation research. The NCDDR is laying the groundwork to establish a Disability Research Collaborating Group within the C2, a critical step in building and sustaining a support structure for the conduct of systematic reviews. Other NCDDR associates and collaborators include representatives from registries of research and guidelines, such as the National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC).
- "Identify and promote the use of evidence-based reviews in topic areas developed in collaboration with NIDRR and its grantees"
The NCDDR focuses on facilitating the conduct of new systematic reviews and facilitating the use of evidence from systematic reviews in identifying research questions, developing research designs, developing and applying guidelines for programs and practices, and providing evidence-based information and resources targeted to consumers. The NCDDR has established a Registry of Systematic Reviews addressing topics of relevance in disability and rehabilitation research.
- "Identify, develop, and assess the effectiveness of strategies for dissemination of high quality information to diverse target populations"
The NCDDR identifies, develops, and tests dissemination strategies that are effective and appropriate for people with disabilities, their families, and their service providers. These efforts focus on strategies to address three groups that typically have been least well served: people with emerging disabilities, people living in poverty, and those from racial, ethnic, or cultural minority populations.
- "Serve as a technical assistance resource to NIDRR research grantees to ensure the use of effective strategies for dissemination of high quality information to diverse target populations"
The NCDDR continues its extensive history of working closely with NIDRR grantees to strengthen their dissemination plans and practices. Technical assistance strategies include on-site and off-site consultations, workshops, print and Web-based resources in accessible formats, and linkage with experts.
For additional information:
SEDL's National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research Receives Federal Funding [SEDL press release 01/23/06]
Meet the New NCDDR (FOCUS Technical Brief #13)