Trends in Assistive Technology

Introducing the team researching assistive technology (AT) led by Shreya Ramesh. They are researching trends and working to understand the systemic issues in the R&D of the AT industry with the hopes of making policy recommendations to solve systemic barriers.

Representation of PwDs in Advertisement

Introducing the team researching the representation of persons with disabilities (PwD) in advertisements led by Lexie Van Os. They’ve been reaching out to brand companies, marketing executives, and ad agencies to understand possible reasonings for the lack of PwD representation. They’re also contacting influencers to understand their perspective on how they feel they are represented and what changes they would like to see.

Federal and State Programs for People with Disabilities

Introducing the team researching Federal and State programs for People with Disabilities in the US, led by Fatima Jaber. The programs they’re looking at are in the sectors of health care, education, and employment, and we currently have been sending out surveys targeted towards people who have lived experiences with disabilities and who use these programs for their feedback and opinions. They’ve also collected a large amount of budgetary data on the amount of money that has been allocated towards disability and disability-related programs over the past 20 years, at the federal level as well as at the state level for CA and TX.

Representation of PwDs in CSR Programs

Introducing the team researching corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs led by Sharon Wang. They have reached out to 200+ Fortune 500 Companies in order to understand their CSR efforts in the disability sector. They want to know how consistently companies are including people with disabilities from and how much of their CSR fund goes into the disability sector.

Non-Compliance of Employment related ADA

Introducing the team researching employment related non-compliance led by Sophie Manoukian. They are studying the effects of ADA laws and ADA noncompliance in regards to the high unemployment rates of persons with disabilities They are searching to gain insights and better understanding of disability justice and workplace advocacy. Some lawsuit data points they’ve found have alarming values. For example, the Appellee v. Hill County Farms INC where the total settlement was around 240 million dollars due to their work conditions and requirements that harmed disabled individuals. Cases like these are present amongst our knowledge that most workplace accommodations cost nothing.

Editors and Communications team

We’re excited to introduce the team that has been supporting our research interns this summer!
Rachel, our communications intern, has been conducting outreach to experts in the disability sector to find speakers for our cohort calls. Kimberly, our graphic design intern, has been creating engaging and informative graphics to keep everyone updated on the work that the VRI 2021 cohort has been doing.
Our editorial interns, Amanda Yarnall and Kalila Papanikolas have been coordinating and revising all of the written materials for the research teams. They also copy-edit their research papers during the drafting process and reformat them for external publication.