Research Evidence

Previous Studies

Research in 2011 and 2012 was funded by the Deborah Munroe Noonan Memorial Research Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee. PI: Kramer.

Teens and young adults with disabilities enjoy Project TEAM

In 2011, the youth panel administered a survey and held a focus group with 16 youth who completed the first version of Project TEAM. The results suggest that youth in Project TEAM like the individualized and interactive aspects of the training, such as going on field trips aligned with their individual goals and playing games with other trainees. However, some materials were difficult to understand for trainees with cognitive disabilities. Project TEAM was revised in response to these findings to ensure it is enjoyable and useful for youth with a variety of disabilities.

The youth panel wrote a research paper describing these results in collaboration with traditional researchers at Boston University. The citation for this study is:

Kramer, J., Barth, Y., Curtis, K., Livingston, K., O’Neil, M., Smith, Z., Vallier, S., & Wolfe, A. (2013). Involving youth with disabilities in the development and evaluation of a new advocacy training: Project TEAM. Disability and Rehabilitation, 35 (7-8), 614- 622.

Teens and young adults who complete Project TEAM increase their knowledge of environmental factors and modification strategies

This study explored the initial outcomes of the first version Project TEAM in order to improve the training. The training was held with three groups of teens and young adults with disabilities in 2011. The teens (a total of 21) had intellectual and developmental disabilities and were ages 15-17. The researchers completed some assessments before, during, and after Project TEAM. Results showed that trainees had a significant increase (more than would happen by chance) in their knowledge of environmental factors and modification strategies. Results also showed that 76% of trainees attained at least one goal related to doing a new activity or applying knowledge from Project TEAM during an activity. Researchers also watched videos of trainees completing Project TEAM to find the best learning activities. Many of the learning activities in Project TEAM were engaging. However, the activities did not provide trainees with enough opportunities to apply knowledge or problem solve using concepts from Project TEAM. Based on these findings, Project TEAM was revised to include new learning activities. Trainees now also complete different assessments that may be more aligned with the outcomes they experience from Project TEAM.

Current Studies

Project TEAM research is currently funded by the Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research Grant # H133G120091 (PI- Kramer).

This study is a partnership between Boston University Department of Occupational Therapy and Wayne State University Developmental Disabilities Institute. From 2012- 2015, these two sites will implement Project TEAM with over 60 teens and young adults with developmental disabilities. This study will compare the outcomes of Project TEAM trainees with youth who only set a goal but do not complete Project TEAM. This study will help us identify the expected outcomes of Project TEAM and the types of youth who may most benefit from Project TEAM.

If you are in the Boston or Detroit Metropolitan area, visit our research opportunities page to learn more about how to participate in this study.