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Community Based Instructional Strategies to support people with disabilities – Links to Research and Resources

November 24, 2014

At a recent workshop on Community Based Instruction we were asked for some of the research sites that we use.   Most research is published in academic journals and there are some really great ones.   The difficulty for agencies is finding ways to incorporate research and development practices and from these to provide training, but in a rapidly changing field this is a necessary investment.   For folks with disabilities and their teams, learning with others who want to learn about shared interests them is also a great way to meet people.   Local learning opportunities are often available through community centres and adult education centres.

The first is Google Scholar, which is pretty much always open on my desktop.   It works best if you have some access to journals through an academic site, unfortunately, which most agencies do not, but an increasing number of journals are open source.   For example, The Canadian Journal of Disability Studies,, focuses more on disability studies than supports practices but is a good example of an open source journal.   Disability Studies Quarterly is one of my favourite journals

This project amazingly maps out educational theory of all kinds – click on the grey boxes under the notes to get more information on each one.

Helen Sanderson and Associates has great resources for all kinds of work, all through a perspective of person centred practices.

TeachThought is great page of teaching resources for teachers, parents and co-learners, ranging from how to ask something different than “So what did you learn in school today?” to 100 search engines for scholarly research.   Great tips for IPad learners.   Great newsletter and twitter feed.

Jane Hart, of the Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies (C4LPT), is one of my favourite educators, specialising in adult, online education but a lot of her ideas can be easily transferred to supporting adults with disabilities.   Check out her concept of “concierge learning” which I use in workshops. Great newsletter and twitter feed.

Syracuse University’s Center on Human Policy, Law, and Disability Studies (CHPLDS) was founded by Burton Blatt more than forty years ago and continues to be a lively, exciting presence in research and research into practice . The site isn’t the easiest to negotiate but well worth your time. Check out, for example, the research by Pam Walker and John and Connie Lyle O’Brien on this page:

Building on the Roeher Institute foundations, The Institute for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society (IRIS) provides policy research and social development leadership that encourages new ways of thinking, inspiring and educating to advance the citizenship, inclusion, human rights and well-being of people with intellectual and other disabilities.

The University of Leeds Centre for Disability Studies has lots of great projects and publications that have been very influential in our field.   Not the friendliest site but check out the archive! For example, the 43 articles by Vic Finklestein:

The Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship at U.B.C. is “building on what we know works, grounding new supports, services and systems rooted in evidence based practice and growing BC’s reputation as an international leader in Community Living and intellectual disability policy.” The CIC annually hosts a day at the Inclusion B.C. Conference around a different research theme, which hopes to support research into practice.   They are also incredibly responsive and helpful given all the demands on their time.

Last but not least, there is always something to learn, anywhere.   Online learners can access almost 900 mostly free courses from 115 partner organizations through Coursera.


An easy thing to do in your organization is draw a big simple map and then have people populate it with images and words of places where they learned things.

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