Research on Employment Supports for People with Disabilities: Summary of the Focus Group Findings. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


Work on this project was conducted by The Lewin Group and its subcontractors, Berkeley Policy Associates and Cornell University. The study was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE).

Staff from The Lewin Group, under the direction of Gina Livermore, conducted the literature review, developed the data collection methodology and instruments, prepared Office of Management and Budget clearance materials, conducted screening for the Newark, NJ focus groups, developed a database of the focus group findings, and analyzed and prepared the reports of the findings for this project. These staff principally include Mark Nowak, Julie Karp, Elizabeth Eiseman, Jennifer Duffy, and Mark Laidlaw.

Staff from Berkeley Policy Associates, under the direction of Sherry Almandsmith and Kay McGill, assisted in the development of the data collection methodology, pre-tested the data collection instruments, conducted the screening for the Seattle, WA and Los Angeles, CA focus groups, arranged and conducted the focus groups at all sites, and summarized the findings of each focus group session. These staff include Linda Toms Barker, Laurie Posner, Michellana Jester, Christie MacDonald, Susan Haight-Liotta, Laura Ellerbe, and Zinnia Ng.

David Stapleton of Cornell University provided technical guidance throughout the project and co-authored all project reports.

The project has benefited greatly from the input of a number of individuals: Bob Williams, Floyd Brown, and Andreas Frank at the ASPE Office of Disability, Aging and Long-Term Care Policy were instrumental in refining the scope and setting the direction for the project, and played important roles in shaping the analysis and presentation of the findings. At the start of the project, the input received from the project's Technical Advisory Group (TAG) greatly influenced the overall direction of the study, the focus group methodology, and the selection of the sites where the focus groups were conducted. The TAG members included: Ruth Brannon, National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research; Henry Claypool, Administration on Developmental Disabilities; Judith Cook, University of Illinois-Chicago; Bruce Flynn, Washington Business Group on Health; Lex Frieden, Institute for Rehabilitation and Research; Claire Ghiloni, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission; Allen Jensen, George Washington University; Jennifer Kemp, President's Committee on the Employment of Adults with Disabilities; John Kregel, Virginia Commonwealth University; Doug Kruse, Rutgers University; Charlie Lakin, University of Minnesota; Pamela Loprest, The Urban Institute; Bonnie O'Day, National Rehabilitation Hospital Research Center; Becky Ogle, Presidential Task Force on the Employment of Adults with Disabilities; Alan Shafer, Social Security Administration; and Ed Yelin, University of California-San Francisco.

We also want to acknowledge the contribution of Michael Collins of the California State Independent Living Council (SILC). His organization funded a study in the Los Angeles area conducted by Berkeley Policy Associates using the focus group methodology developed under this project. The samples and findings of the California SILC study have been integrated with those obtained from the focus groups conducted in Los Angeles for this study.

We greatly appreciate the assistance of the many local disability organizations who provided invaluable assistance in recruiting focus group participants, providing locations to conduct the groups and staff to assist with on-site logistics.

Finally, we would like to thank the nearly 300 individuals who participated in the focus groups and so generously and candidly shared their experiences with us. Without their participation, the study would not have been possible.

The opinions, conclusions, and errors in this report are the sole responsibility of the authors, and do not represent the official views of the HHS, the California SILC, Berkeley Policy Associates, Cornell University, or The Lewin Group.