Knowledge which is unable to support action is not genuine
-and how unsure is activity without understanding.
–Rudolph Virchow, 1847
The IOD leverages the knowledge, wisdom, and experience of both the community and its faculty and staff to address the social, educational, economic, and environmental barriers challenging individuals with disabilities and their families.
Through research, the IOD seeks universalistic rather than exceptionalistic solutions to community problems—solutions that advance the ability of communities to ensure that all of their members are fully engaged, including persons living with disabilities and their families—and the IOD seeks to include the perspectives of people who are often underrepresented or overlooked in framing agendas and seeking solutions. The cornerstone of the IOD’s scholarship is the partnerships between communities and the IOD as an academic institution. The IOD's scholarship includes research, evaluation, and knowledge translation achieved through a range of dissemination activities and strategies.
The IOD collaborates with several academic and research groups in New Hampshire and works closely with local, state, and federal agencies to advance policies and practices that improve the quality of life for children and adults with disabilities and their families.
The IOD’s research team is a multi-disciplinary group with backgrounds in education, autism, early childhood, employment, sustainable transportation, public policy, aging and long term care, positive behavioral supports, professional development, self determination, communication sciences and disorders, community development, literacy, developmental disabilities, and mental health. Research staffs possess training and expertise in a variety of quantitative and qualitative research methods, including case study, interview, observation, focus group, quasi-experimental design, participatory action research, and survey design. We apply our collective expertise to a broad range of disability topics to inform members of the disability community, policy makers, advocates, other stakeholders, as well as members of the general public. Our research emphasizes sound theory, collaboration with stakeholders, and the applicability of research results.