Mess Hall: Julie Buchanan

shoes on steps as part of a demonstration for the rights of the disabled
Image (c) Arc of South Carolina

Mess Hall is a “brown bag” series (bring your lunch!) that’s more like a research support group, intended to allow DePaul researchers to present their works in progress at any stage (mess & all). Mess Hall is a safe, fun, supportive and no-pressure environment for presenters to talk through data analysis problems, untangle conceptual or framework issues, or practice conference presentations. For those not presenting, Mess Hall offers an opportunity to learn what scholars in other departments and fields are working on and to become part of a supportive community of research at DePaul. Students are welcome to attend, and we will host one graduate student session per quarter.

WHO: Julie Buchanan, Graduate Student-School of Public Service

WHEN: Friday, August 9, 1 – 2 p.m.

WHERE: SSRC Conference Room, 990 W. Fullerton Ave., Suite 3100

Taking a stand:

How do advocates participate in the policy process?

The disability rights movement, made up of people with disabilities, their families, policymakers, professionals, and academics, has been advocating for decades for the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live, learn, and work in integrated, community settings where they have access to the same opportunities as their peers without disabilities.  Since the 1970s, public services have, to varying degrees, reflected a shift in ideology away from a segregated, custodial model toward community-integrated services that emphasize self-determination and inclusion.

Integrated employment programs offer people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the opportunity to obtain and maintain jobs with community-based employers where they earn competitive wages and work alongside people without disabilities.  The drastic variations in the provision of integrated employment programs from state to state prompted this exploratory study.  I’m examining disability advocacy movements and policy environments in three states with very different rates of serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in integrated employment programs:  Missouri, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.  I hope to discover what differentiates the advocacy movements in states with relatively high rates of integrated employment participation from those with lower rates.

I’m presenting an overview of my research design and findings to get feedback about theoretical frameworks to consider in interpreting and explaining my findings.  My literature review so far focuses on the policy making process and advocacy movements.  As a newcomer to the research process, I’d also welcome feedback on my methods and analysis.

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Author: Jessica Speer

As the Research Specialist at SSRC, Jessica edits re/search, consults with faculty, and conducts SSRC research projects. She is interested in questions of information management, preservation, communication, and dissemination.

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