Region 3: Americans With Disabilities Act Compliance: An Exploration of Barriers and How Individuals Gain Information on the ADA

In this exploratory study, we are interested in identifying barriers to complying with the ADA, particularly, as it relates to employment for youth with disabilities and access and full participation in the community for aging adults with disabilities.

Research Questions:

RQ1: What are the barriers to ADA compliance, as it relates to Title I, as perceived by transition-aged youth with disabilities?

RQ2: What are the barriers to ADA compliance, as it relates to Titles II and III, as perceived by adults with disabilities?

Focus Groups

Focus groups will be conducted with participants representing each of the stakeholder groups: transition-aged youth with disabilities and aging adults with disabilities. In particular, we will conduct focus groups with transition-aged youth to determine the perceived barriers to hiring and retaining youth in integrated community employment. Additionally, we will conduct focus groups with aging adults to identify the perceived barriers to integrated community living including, transportation, and access to community resources and buildings, such as libraries, police stations, grocery stores, restaurants, parks, and schools.

We will use a qualitative analysis method to identify barriers to ADA compliance and to ascertain how individuals get information to better exercise their rights. We will first identify the sample to participate in the study (which will include two specific stakeholder groups) and develop the interview protocols. Then, we will proceed with focus group meetings (for each stakeholder group) to better understand the perceived barriers individuals with disabilities experience, including employment and community participation. The information obtained from the focus groups will be analyzed and organized into themes.

Focus Group 1 – Youth with Disabilities (18-25); self-identified as having a disability; entering into or recently entered into integrated competitive employment, hired directly by an employer; and required reasonable accommodations to complete the essential functions of the job.

Focus Group 2 – Aging Adults with Disabilities (50+ yrs old); self-identified as having a disability; lives independently in the community; and utilizes community resources.