Thursday, June 2, 2011

Researchers Exploring Disability Perceptions

MDA ‘s Quest magazine posted the following article on a study at the University of Michigan.  I took the confidential survey today and also asked to be sent the results. 

The survey questions were rather intriguing because it deals with perspectives and beliefs more than hard facts.  The more people that take the survey the more valid the results and that is why I am posting the information.

I pulled this information off of their website:  “The lab’s Disability Identity Project seeks to expand this body of literature by exploring the social identity of people with disabilities, and seeks to ask (among others) the following questions: Who claims the label of “disabled” and who does not? How does type of impairment (learning disability, chronic health condition, d/Deaf or hard of hearing, etc.) affect this choice? How will impairment attributes, e.g. age of onset, degree of visibility, degree of severity, etc. also affect this choice? How does claiming or not claiming this identity affect an individual’s quality of life?”



Researchers at the University of Michigan are studying why some people identify themselves as disabled and others do not

Researchers at the Psychology of Disability Lab at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor are exploring the social identity of people with disabilities through a short, anonymous, Web-based questionnaire.

The lab's Disability Identity Project is being headed by principal investigator Adena Rottenstein, a doctoral candidate in psychology.

About the study 

"I'm curious about why some people identify as disabled and others do not," says Rottenstein, who notes that she herself has a disability and that most of the research assistants on this project do as well.

Doctoral student Adena Rottenstein wants to know more about what determines a person's perceptions of his or her disability.

She and her colleagues want to know, for instance, who perceives himself or herself as "disabled" and who does not; how the type of disability or impairment affects this choice; and how factors such as the disability's onset, severity and degree of visibility affect one's self-perceptions.

All information can be submitted anonymously, although Rottenstein says those who take the online survey and who volunteer their contact information can receive a copy of the results. Participants are also invited to suggest questions for future surveys.

"It's really important to me that my work is transparent and collaborative," she notes. Participants are invited to provide their names and email addresses if they wish to receive copies of the study results and/or information about future surveys. "However," Rottenstein says, "the contact information will be kept in a completely different data file so that participants' names can never be matched to their survey responses."

MDA is not affiliated with this study.

To participate:
Read more about or fill out the "snapshot" survey. It should take five to 10 minutes to complete.
Contact the researchers at with any questions or concerns.

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