Current Projects

Award recipients for collaborative research project: September 2018 competition.

Co-PIs

Dr. Sisay Haile Michael, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Gondar.

Dr. Setareh Ghahari, Associate Professor, School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Queen’s University.

Title

Accommodation quality and academic success of students with disabilities in Ethiopian higher education institutions: current practices, barriers, and challenges.

Project overview

This collaborative research project explored the current state of policy and provision of reasonable accommodations and how these associate with the success measures of students with disabilities in the Ethiopian higher education institutions. Specifically, the research project addressed the following four objectives by adopting both quantitative and qualitative approaches:

  1. Examine the current state of policy for students with disabilities and implementation in the Ethiopian higher education institutions;
  2. Investigate what strategies are in place in Ethiopian higher education institutions to create a reasonable accommodating environment as measured by measures of the reasonable accommodating environment (the physical, educational, and social environments);
  3. Explore barriers and challenges that Ethiopian higher education institutions encounter in creating accommodating learning environment and barriers and challenges and challenges that students with disabilities are facing in their study area; and
  4. Compare the level of the success of students with disabilities with those without disability as measured by academic, social, and psychological adjustment of the students and to examine the extent that the academic accommodation measures associate with measures of success of students with disabilities.

Award recipients for collaborative research projects: September 2019 competition.

Co-PIs

Mr. Yigermal Demissie Ayalew, Lecturer, Department of Social Work, University of Gondar.

Dr. Thomas Abrams, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Queen’s University.

Title

Transition of youth with disabilities: experiences, needs, current practices and the way forward in Ethiopia.

Project overview

The collaborative research project is examining the experiences, needs and challenges of youth with disabilities as they transition from secondary to post-secondary/tertiary education, school to work/employment, independent living and social and community life in Ethiopia. Specifically, the research project will achieve the following five objectives by adopting sequential mixed methods design:

  1. Explore the experiences of youth with disabilities in their transition from secondary to post-secondary/tertiary education, school to work/employment, independent living and social and community life in Ethiopia;
  2. Explore current practices in transition services for youth with disabilities in the four domains;
  3. Explore the needs of youth with disabilities in transition in the four domains;
  4. Describe trends in the provision of services for youth with disabilities in the four domains; and
  5. Determine the challenges and prospects in designing and providing services aimed at facilitating the smooth transition of youth with disabilities in the four domains.

Co-PIs

Dr. Busha Taa, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Gondar.

Dr. Theodore Christou, Professor, Faculty of Education, Queen’s University.

Title

Assessing the impacts of community-based rehabilitation programming for the inclusion and empowerment of people with disabilities in Ethiopia.

Project overview

This collaborative research project is elevating the relevance, effectiveness, approaches, and sustainability of current Ethiopian community-based rehabilitation programs in developing a strategic guideline for future empowerment and inclusion of people with disabilities. Specifically, the research project will achieve the following five objectives by incorporating both quantitative and qualitative methods:

  1. Assess the relevance of the outcomes of the CBR program implemented in Ethiopia on children and adults with disabilities draw the conclusion and recommend appropriate measures to improve the quality of the program;
  2. Examine how the program addressed gender inequality within an entire cycle of disability package;
  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of strategy/design/ approaches of the CBR program in consultation with target groups such as right holders and duty bearers;
  4. Measure the inclusiveness of the CBR and other programs at policy, program design, practice level and the capacity of the disability program to provide technical guidance; and
  5. Assess the experience, expertise of people running the program and existing materials utilized in the implementation of CBR, compile them with additional inputs from the CBR staff, manager and the program specialist of the disability package.

Co-PIs

Ms. Tsega Hagos Mirach, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Service Management & Health Economics, University of Gondar.

Dr. Rosemary Lysaght, Professor, School of Rehabilitation, Queen’s University.

Title

Job accessibility and job satisfaction of people with disabilities in Ethiopia: implications for holistic intervention.

Project overview

This collaborative research project is assessing the practice of reasonable accommodation in higher education, job accessibility and job satisfaction of people with disabilities in Ethiopia so as to inform holistic policy and intervention strategies. Specifically, the research project will attain the following five objectives by adopting an explanatory sequential mixed methods approach:

  1. Review the adequacy and relevance of disability related policies and strategies in Ethiopia and their implementation effectiveness to promote accessibility and job satisfaction among people with disabilities in Ethiopia;
  2. Assess the lived experience of people with disabilities in higher education institutions (HEIs) with regard to reasonable accommodation;  
  3. Assess the implementation and effects of reasonable accommodation in HEIs for job access of people with disabilities;
  4. Identify factors that affect the job satisfaction of working people with disabilities; and
  5. Assess the intersectionality of sex, residence background (Rural vs Urban), and type of disability in relation to the challenges of PWD in securing satisfying employment.

Co-PIs

Dr. Tesfahun Melese, Lecturer, Department of Health Informatics, University of Gondar.

Dr. Claire Davies, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Queen’s University.

Title

Design and Development of Assistive Technology for People with Disabilities through Educational Platform: A Collaborative Research Project between Queen’s University and the University of Gondar.

Project overview

This collaborative research project seeks to establish and leverage university resources at the University of Gondar in Ethiopia to meet the assistive technology needs of the community. Specifically, the research project will achieve the following research objectives:

  1. Conduct a literature review to determine who is using technology and what types of assistive technologies are being used;
  2. Determine the proportion of assistive technology usage among people with disabilities in Ethiopia;
  3. Identify the challenges of people with disabilities in accessing and using assistive technology;
  4. Engage end-users, rehabilitation and engineering students in the design and building of assistive technology to meet the needs of the community;
  5. Understand the personal, social, and ethical implications of designing and building assistive technology within the setting of the University of Gondar;
  6. Determine how to leverage academic resources to make functional assistive technology more accessible; and
  7. Ensure the technology is usable and safe through engineering analysis.