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Increasing Community Participation for People with Disabilities

Joy Hammel wearing grey top and necklace smiling into the camera

Joy Hammel, professor of disability and human development and rehabilitation sciences, and Wade Meyer Endowed Chair for graduate studies in occupational therapy, is co-principal investigator on a new national community-based research project that aims to address barriers to community participation for people with disabilities. With $2.5 million of funding from the National Institute of Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research, Dr. Hammel will help lead the establishment of the Americans with Disabilities Act Participation Action Research Consortium (ADA PARC), a new UIC-based national research center. Health disparities witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic underscore the need for projects such as ADA PARC, and the center will direct participatory action research through 10 ADA centers representing all states and territories in the U.S. The research will determine barriers to community participation encountered by people with disabilities, with additional analysis related to the intersection of disability with race, ethnicity, age, economic status, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity. The UIC Great Lakes ADA Center will also be a collaborator on the project.