RRTC Think Tanks

Without widespread application through public policy, even the most important research will have little effect. Yet there is no consistent system to translate research findings into public policy. It is not well understood why this disconnect between research and policy exists. Researchers must find ways to bridge the gap between research and policy by working directly with policymakers to translate their research for policy implementation. The RRTC: Health & Wellness held several think tanks to generate best practices when disseminating research findings to various audiences.

Policymakers - September 2006

Seven experts in the fields of disability research, disability advocacy, and policymaking were invited to participate in a three-hour brainstorming session sponsored by the RRTC: Health & Wellness.  The meeting was held in conjunction with the RRTC on Aging with a Disability’s State of the Science Conference on September 7, 2006.  The goal of the Think Tank was to generate recommendations to increase the likelihood that research findings will be used in policy. In this dialogue, we encouraged participants to speak candidly about the “culture clash” between researchers and policy makers and discuss strategies to overcome it.

Policymakers Full Report - PDF (199 Kb)

Policymakers Fact Sheet - PDF (34Kb) 

Disability Advocacy Organizations - November 2007

Ten experts in the fields of disability research and disability advocacy were invited to engage in a dialogue on core issues in getting research findings to influence policy. The session was held during the Disability Section Chair's Forum at the American Public Health Association's Annual Meeting in Washington, DC on November 4, 2007. The goal of the Think Tank was to generate suggestions on how disability researchers can partner with disability advocacy organizations to make sure that research findings can be used to advocate for policy change.

Disability Advocacy Organizations Full Report - PDF (128 Kb)

Disability Advocacy Organizations Fact Sheet - PDF (199 Kb)

Leaders with Disabilities - May 2008

An effective dissemination plan is based on knowing what to disseminate and how to disseminate findings to identified audiences. To identify effective methods for dissemination, we explored these questions with eight disability leaders who have close ties to their communities. The discussion identified several key themes that can aid disability researchers in disseminating their findings more effectively to people with disabilities.

Leaders with Disabilities Full Report - PDF (427 Kb)

Leaders with Disabilities Fact Sheet - PDF (211 Kb)

Public Health Professionals - January 2009

What do public health professionals already know about disability and health? What kind of information would they like to have? What are the best ways to get that information into their hands? These are some of the questions we posed to a group of public health professionals from various backgrounds.

Public Health Professionals Full Report - PDF (256 Kb)

Public Health Professionals Fact Sheet - PDF (33 Kb)