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FPB's Ann S. Williams and Shirley M. Moore Call for Changing How Research Is Done

Practicing and implementing changes through CWRU's federally-funded FIND Lab

Posted 5/12/11

Williams and Moore
Associate Professor and Research Associate Ann S. Williams and Associate Dean for Research Shirley M. Moore

When it first passed 20 years ago, the American Disabilities Act offered hope for closing the health-disparities gap for people with disabilities, but differences still exist. Barring people with limiting physical issues from research studies may bear some of the blame, and via the National Institutes of Nursing Research/National Institute of Health funded Full INclusion of persons with Disabilities in self-management (FIND) Lab, FPB researchers Ann S. Williams and Shirley M. Moore want to change that restriction.

In a commentary for Science Translational Medicine entitled "Universal Design of Research: Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Mainstream Biomedical Studies," they ask researchers to rethink participation criteria that exclude people with sight, hearing or mobility problems, or other disabilities.

They suggest employing universal design methods like those adopted by classroom teachers to integrate children with disabilities in mainstream classrooms.

Some of those same tools - audio instructions or large print -- can accommodate people with disabilities. Without the participation of this population, the science is not all there, Williams said.

“If you're not sampling from the entire population, you really can't apply your results to the entire population,” Williams said. “A person in a wheelchair needs to prevent heart disease just as much as a person who can walk.”

Source: Digital Journal

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