Although persons with disabilities of all kinds have as wide a range of health conditions as the general population, they are profoundly underrepresented in mainstream health research. Such underrepresentation might contribute to the health disparities in this population. We propose the concept of Universal Design of Research (UDR), which would promote routine inclusion of persons with disabilities in mainstream biomedical and psychosocial studies, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. Elements of UDR include the use of multisensory formats for recruiting participants, presenting research instruments and interventions, and data gathering from participants and should promote the inclusion of participants with a wide range of abilities, thus enhancing the generalizability of results.
Universal design of research: inclusion of persons with disabilities in mainstream biomedical studies.
May 11, 2011