INNOVATION AREAS

Innovation Areas

During the past two decades, important legal and policy gains—including the Americans with Disabilities Act and UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities—were made by and on behalf of people with disabilities, affirming their rights to full participation in society. Despite these advances, most people with disabilities in the United States and worldwide continue to live in isolation from the civic, economic, and social mainstreams of their communities.

Given the strong ties between one’s ability to earn income and fully participate in their communities, the Burton Blatt Institute’s (BBI) work focuses on two interconnected Innovation Areas: Economic Participation and Community Participation. Through innovative program development, cutting-edge research, and policy guidance in these Innovation Areas, BBI advances the full inclusion of people with disabilities in a global society. BBI believes full community inclusion does not only mean living in the community, but also that people with disabilities have opportunities to be “of the community”—to live in their communities with the rights, privileges, and opportunities that any other citizen may enjoy.

As you explore the Innovation Areas and their resources, you will recognize the many connections between Economic Participation and Community Participation. Through this holistic approach, BBI affirms the belief that to enjoy fully inclusive lives, people with disabilities and agencies, policy planners and advocates must view these services and supports as tightly connected and as comprehensive as possible.

 

Economic Participation

BBI believes that people with disabilities should have the right to live economically self-sufficient lives in their communities. With access to meaningful work that pays a living wage, people with disabilities will be able to afford to live in safe communities, enjoy good health, and become economically empowered and self-sufficient. Businesses benefit from the value that disability diversity brings to enhancing their services, products, and ultimately their bottom-lines; communities benefit from the broader economic development that takes place.

BBI works in communities, nationally and worldwide, to improve economic participation among people with disabilities in three major domains:

Research and Knowledge Translation

BBI has developed a recognized research and evaluation profile that demonstrates collaborative, cross-sector methods to understand and evaluate employment, entrepreneurship, and economic self-sufficiency, programs and practices.

Program Development

BBI's innovative program development involves training, technical assistance and pilot demonstrations of entrepreneurship services and employer and economic partnerships which lead to the development of best and promising employment, entrepreneurship, and economic self-sufficiency practices.  BBI develops new tools, techniques and partnerships that improve economic participation outcomes for people with disabilities.

Policy Guidance

Policy guidance includes legal writing, policy analysis, and consultation. BBI assists in the development of, and improvements in, national and international laws, regulations, and policies by governing bodies, businesses, and non-governmental organizations that remove barriers and increase resources targeted to improved economic participation for people with disabilities as a fundamental human right. Across the board, these three domains of activities combine to reduce economic participation systems fragmentation and overlap. BBI examines and addresses relationships among employment and entrepreneurship as income production, as well as saving and asset building to improve quality of life, rather than siloing these areas.  More detailed descriptions of BBI’s current work to address these four domains is available through their respective links. 

Areas Of Economic Participation

Related Impact Stories

Achieving the American Dream


Jeremy Pratt and thousands of other individuals across New York are building financial security, thanks to an unprecedented statewide initiative spearheaded by BBI and the United Way of New York State. Read More : Achieving the American Dream

Entrepreneur's Business Takes Flight


The Start-Up NY/Inclusive Entrepreneurship program helped Linda Erb and more than 60 other people with disabilities turn business ideas into reality.  Read More : Entrepreneur's Business Takes Flight

Improving Services for Abused Women with Disabilities


Project EMERGE has been instrumental in the creation of practical solutions to the unique challenges faced by women with disabilities and Deaf women: they not only experience abuse at vastly disproportionate numbers, but they also encounter barriers to seeking assistance. Read More : Improving Services for Abused Women with Disabilities

Community Participation

BBI believes that people with disabilities have the right to self-determined lives and to live in the communities of their choice. With meaningful access to inclusive education, accessible programs, services and technology, and civil rights protections, people with disabilities are able to live in safe communities, enjoy good health, and make important contributions to the workforce and community.

BBI works with and in communities, nationally and worldwide, to improve opportunities for community participation among people with disabilities through three major strategies: 

Research and Knowledge Translation

BBI has developed a recognized research and evaluation profile that demonstrates collaborative, cross-sector methods to understand, evaluate, and inform best practices in three domains: Accessible Communities and Services, Civil Rights, and Education for people with disabilities. 

Program Development

Program development involves training, technical assistance and pilot demonstrations of programs, services, and technology, inclusive education, and civil rights, which lead to the development of best and promising practices.  BBI develops new tools, techniques and partnerships that improve community participation outcomes for people with disabilities.  

Policy Guidance

Policy guidance includes legal writing, policy analysis, and consultation. BBI assists in the development of, and improvements in, national and international laws, regulations, and policies by governing bodies, businesses, and non-governmental organizations that remove barriers and increase resources targeted to improved community participation for people with disabilities as a fundamental human right.

Areas Of Community Participation

Related Impact Stories

Achieving the American Dream


Jeremy Pratt and thousands of other individuals across New York are building financial security, thanks to an unprecedented statewide initiative spearheaded by BBI and the United Way of New York State. Read More : Achieving the American Dream

Entrepreneur's Business Takes Flight


The Start-Up NY/Inclusive Entrepreneurship program helped Linda Erb and more than 60 other people with disabilities turn business ideas into reality.  Read More : Entrepreneur's Business Takes Flight

Improving Services for Abused Women with Disabilities


Project EMERGE has been instrumental in the creation of practical solutions to the unique challenges faced by women with disabilities and Deaf women: they not only experience abuse at vastly disproportionate numbers, but they also encounter barriers to seeking assistance. Read More : Improving Services for Abused Women with Disabilities