Issue Date: January 2016

What’s in this issue:

  • Message from the Project Director,
  • Bilingual CDPP Logo,
  • CDPP Website Live!
  • Partner Profile: Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW),
  • Policies Governing Employment and Mobility,
  • Physical Activity, Active Living, and Sport Resource Catalogue,
  • Project Updates

A Message from the Director

As 2016 gets underway, the CDPP continues to gather momentum. For instance, across teams, we are nearing completion of a comprehensive set of reviews of disability research, policy, and educational resources. All three teams have started projects to better understand barriers, facilitators, and the meaning of participation. We have also formulated an evidence-based conceptualization of ‘quality participation’ that will inform how we measure participation in our future projects. Together, these accomplishments represent important milestones in building toward our goal of improving participation among Canadians with physical disabilities.

You may have noticed the new format of this newsletter. With the launch of the CDPP website, we now have the capability to send and store our newsletters and other notifications. At you can also find a growing library of CDPP-developed resources. You can read more about the website's key features in this newsletter, along with project updates from each team. Our Partner Profile features Monica Winkler and the great work done by the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work.

I send you my best wishes for a successful and healthy 2016,

Kathleen Martin Ginis
Project Director
Chair, Leadership Team 905-525-9140 x23574

Bilingual CDPP Logo

We are pleased to have a new French/English CDPP logo. If you did not receive the email with the logo in horizontal and vertical orientations from Adrienne Sinden (CDPP Research Coordinator), please contact her at


CDPP Website Live!

Canadian Disability Participation Project website became live on December 1st, 2015.

The website showcases our Employment, Mobility and Sport & Exercise Teams, including Project Information, Resources and Publications, and team member profiles.

A couple of key features of the website include "A Get Involved" tab to facilitate community member and study participant involvement, as well as a “Newsletters” tab where you can find past newsletters and direct people to subscribe to receive future CDPP mailings.

The website will continue to evolve as the CDPP activities unfold.

If you would like to have information posted on the website or updated to reflect the current standings of projects, publications, recruitment etc., please contact our CDPP Project Coordinator, Adrienne Sinden

Thank to our website creators at the Dunham Group for in-kind support to produce the website.

Partner Profile: Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work

This month we profile the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW).  We asked Monica Winkler, the Senior Administrator for the CCRW and a member of the CDPP Employment Team, some questions.

1. What does the CCRW do?

The Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW) is about the meaningful employment of persons with disabilities.  We have employment programs across Canada in which we help job-seekers with disabilities (all disabilities) who are able to work, find meaningful work.  We also help employers with employees with disabilities by guiding them to appropriate accommodations for the employee to work at the best of their ability.  For the last 40 years, we have been working towards breaking down barriers and changing attitudes around hiring persons with disabilities.

2. What are you hoping the CDPP will achieve with regards to employment and disability?

I am hoping that the CDPP will break down the attitudinal barriers plaguing the work force about hiring a person with a disability.  Employers and colleagues need to understand to look past the disability and see the person who has so much to offer to organizations and businesses.  It is human nature to stay away from people we do not know or understand, but time and time again, increased knowledge creates understanding which in turn results in the inclusion into society and the world of work.  In other words, I hope the CDPP will result in much higher employment of persons with disabilities.

Policies Governing Employment and Mobility

Canadian Disability Policy Alliance (CDPA), in collaboration with the CDPP Employment and Mobility Teams, has conducted scans of Canadian policy pertaining to the two domains.  Currently, the CDPA is working with the Sport and Exercise Team to scan Canadian policies on sport, exercise, physical activity and leisure.

The Employment scan examined policy governing employment supports for people with disabilities in 14 jurisdictions in Canada – federal, provincial and territorial. 

Employment Policy Scan.pdf

The Mobility scan examined legislation, regulations and programs governing funding for wheelchairs and scooters for people with disabilities in 14 jurisdictions in Canada – federal, provincial and territorial. 

Mobility Policy Scan.pdf

Physical Activity, Active Living, and Sport Resource Catalogue

This catalogue provides a listing of educational resources, programs, tools, and contacts for Canadians with disabilities interested in physical activity, active living or sports activities.  In collaboration with Jane Arkell (Active Living Alliance for Canadians with Disabilities), Robert Shaw (PhD candidate, McMaster University), Kylie Mallory (BSc Kin, McMaster University), and Kathleen Martin Ginis (CDPP Project Director) a number of organizations provided knowledge, expertise and information for the creation of this resource catalogue.

Physical Activity, Active Living, and Sport Resource Catalogue.pdf


Project Updates


Employment Barrier Taxonomy:  We have created an organized model of barriers to employment experienced by individuals with physical disabilities. This model focuses on the individual, the employer and the environment. We are currently drafting a paper presenting this model.

Life-Course Analysis:  Data collected from 45 adults living with rheumatic disease in Southern Ontario are being transcribed and we are preparing for analysis. We will be looking for a list of key life transition points and social influencers of employment that can be targeted in subsequent interventions and employment enhancing practices. We have also begun collaborating with the Parent Support Study team, to explore the impact of parental involvement to encourage employment opportunities.

Performance Appraisal Study :  We have begun analysis of data from our pilot study, which tests the hypothesis that performance appraisals of people with disabilities tend to be less constructive and useful to the employee than those of people without disabilities. Our findings will help us finalize the experimental protocol. This will allow us to move onto the main phase of the study, in which we offer a performance appraisal training opportunity for managers at McMaster and conduct the research on the managers.

Intern Study:  We are currently working to establish research sites for a study on factors that help or hinder the successful integration of employees with physical disabilities within workplaces. The study will use questionnaires to assess the attitudes, perceptions, and work outcomes of a group of interns, some with and some without disabilities, during their first year of employment, both from the perspective of the interns and of their supervisors.

Utility Analysis:  The purpose of this project is to quantify the net benefit of hiring and accommodating people with physical disabilities, through a formal cost-benefit analysis. We have analyzed findings from two sites and have promising reports. We are now working to prepare studies with 3 companies, and are in the process of recruiting more sites in Canada and in the United States.

Happening Now!
Along with Canadian Disability Policy Alliance (CDPA), the CDPP Employment team is lobbying to amend the Ontario Employment Standards Act, which is currently under review, to include information on the accessibility and accommodation of the employment opportunity.


Systematic Reviews: Two literature reviews have been published, and one has been accepted for publication (see references below). Three other reviews are nearing completion: (a) the impact of canes and walkers on social participation, (b) the impact of the physical environment on mobility and participation among people with disabilities, and (c) the accessibility of pedestrian infrastructures for seniors with physical disabilities.

1. Smith, E.M., Sakakibara, B.M., & Miller, W.C. (2014). A review of factors influencing participation in social and community activities for wheelchair users. Disability and Rehabilitation Assistive Technology, 4, 1-14.
2. Obembe, A.O., Eng, J.J. (2015) Rehabilitation interventions for improving social participation after stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Neurorehabilitation & Neural Repair, July 29, epub head of print.
3. Mortenson, B., & Kim, J. (2015). A Scoping Review of Mobility Scooter-Related Research Studies. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development. Accepted December, 2015.

Enabling Mobility And participatioN among those with Disabilities (dEMAND): dEMAND explores, through the methods of activity monitoring, PhotoVoice and environmental audits, the places that people (n= 120) who use mobility assistive technology go, the activities that they do, the barriers and facilitators that they encounter, and any solutions they would like to see implemented. Two participants have completed data collection in Quebec and 14 participants have completed data collection in Vancouver.

Sport & Exercise

Systematic Reviews: Separate reviews of disability literature are being conducted to determine a) barriers to physical activity b) interventions to increase physical activity participation c) estimates of physical activity participation levels and d) ’quality’ outcomes of physical activity participation (quantitative, qualitative).  The reviews are in the data extraction phase.

Delphi Study: The purpose of this project is to obtain feedback from members of the disability sport community (i.e., athletes, coaches, parents, former athletes, mentors) about what components make-up a positive sport experience in order to define quality sport participation for athletes with a disability. Participant recruitment and data collection are currently underway.

Lifecourse Analysis: This study examines the lifespan sport participation experiences of adults living with physical impairments.  Data collection is underway.

The National Physical Activity Monitoring [NPAM] Study: This is a pilot study examining the feasibility and validity of physical activity measurement in youth with mobility impairments.  The team is recruiting participants and collecting data.

How do Parents Support Children’s Physical Activity? The study explores the role of parents in supporting physical activity among children and youth with physical disabilities using a Theory of Planned Behaviour perspective. The team is in the recruitment and data collection phase of the study.


As mentioned in the updates above, the Sport & Exercise Team is recruiting participants for a number of projects.  If you are a sport or physical activity organization and are able to help, kindly forward the following recruitment card and fact sheet to your staff or members--many thanks.

Recruitment Card.pdf

CDPP Fact Sheet.pdf                                                                   


Defining ‘Quality Participation’:  Using systematic review methods and thematic analysis, the working group identified six elements as key to conceptualizing the experiential (or ‘quality’) aspects of participation: Autonomy, Belongingness, Challenge, Engagement, Mastery and Meaning. After soliciting feedback from the teams, a manuscript has been submitted for publication which summarizes this project. The six elements will be used to operationalize the experiential aspects of participation in subsequent CDPP projects.

Measuring ‘Quality Participation’: Shane Sweet is leading a project to identify a set of measures that can be used to assess the six experiential aspects of participation across the three domains. Our goal is to create a measurement toolkit that will be used as key outcome measures in subsequent CDPP projects.

Developing and Testing Models of Participation: In our original grant application, we proposed to carry out three separate projects—one in each domain—to test models of variables that predict participation in each domain. The Academic Team Leads and the CDPP Executive have agreed to streamline these projects into a single cross-cutting project. Shane Sweet will lead this project in 2017, with support from the individual teams to propose models for testing (models will be based on what we have learned from our projects, to date).

Catalogue of Knowledge Mobilization Methods: Working in collaboration with the Active Living Alliance, the first catalogue has been produced and is available on the CDPP website ( A graduate student-led manuscript has also been submitted, reporting on an evaluation of the quality of the catalogued resources. We now have a protocol for carrying out this project in the other domains. This is a great Knowledge Translation project for a student. If you have a student interested in conducting these projects in the Employment or Mobility domains, please contact Kathleen.