Case-Book of Community-Based Best-Practices

A MITACS-funded postdoctoral fellow has been working at the Sam Sullivan Disability Foundation (SSDF) on a series of program evaluation projects. Comprehensive interviews and focus groups have been undertaken with participants, volunteers and staff for each of the SSDF projects.  A survey is being prepared to assess a larger proportion of participants. A report will be prepared and results will be formulated into a case-book that can be used by other organizations to learn about challenges, opportunities, and best-practices in community programming for people with disabilities.

Parent Support Study

The purpose of this project is to examine predictors of parental support behaviour for sport participation among youth with disabilities.  Elicitation data have been collected (N=25) and were analyzed to inform the development of a questionnaire. Further data were collected using the developed questionnaire (N=114).  These data are currently being analyzed to be included in a manuscript.

National Physical Activity Monitoring Study

The purpose of this project is to evaluate sport and physical activity participation among youth with physical and sensory disabilities across Canada. Two telephone-based interviews were conducted among 50 youth to collect data related to sport and physical activity participation, along with levels of motivation, and perceptions of parental social support for sport and physical activity.

Enabling Mobility And participatioN among those with Disabilities (dEMAND)

This study aims to answer the following research questions:

 1)  Where do people who use different types of mobility assistive devices (i.e., power wheelchairs, manual wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, crutches, and canes) go?

 2)  What do people who use different types of mobility assistive devices do? 

 3)  What are the personal and neighbourhood physical and social environmental facilitators and 
barriers for mobility and social participation among people with mobility impairments? 

Systematic Reviews

The aim of this sub-project is to conduct systematic reviews to determine the state of knowledge and research gaps among the mobility and social participation literature, and to develop a testable conceptual model of participation. 

Published Reviews:

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.

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 begun analyzing data provided by a large Canadian food services company, and are in the process of recruiting additional employers to participate in the project.

Performance Appraisal Study

This project will test 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.  We have completed data collection for a pilot study to help finalize the experimental protocol, and are set to begin preliminary data analysis.

Results from two undergraduate performance appraisal projects were presented at McMaster (2018):

Sustaining Employment Participation Across the Life Course

This project examined the work experiences of young, (18-34 years), middle-aged (35-54 years) and older adults (55+ years) living with arthritis to determine the similarities and differences across the life course. We conducted semi-structured focus groups/interviews. Results found that the impact of arthritis on involvement in paid work is not uniform across the life course.

Employment Barrier Taxonomy

The purpose of this project is to classify the barriers to employment experienced by individuals with physical disabilities.  The paper is available at

Bonaccio, S., Connelly, C. E., Gellatly, I. R., Jetha, A., & Martin Ginis, K. A.  (2019). The Participation of People with Disabilities in the Workplace Across the Employment Cycle: Employer Concerns and Research Evidence. Journal of Business and Psychology, in press.


  • 1
  • 2