Our Partners

The CDPA is made up of three types of partners, each with a specific role to play in disability policy research.

1. Academic Partners

The academic partners use their research skill to:

      • Identify and frame research questions, in consultation with community partners
      • Initiate a program of research
      • Recommend the most appropriate research methodology for each project
      • Undertake reviews of literature to ascertain the current state of knowledge on issues, and to determine whether further primary research is needed
      • Conduct environmental scans to assess current best practices in the policy area
      • Seek external funding as necessary to supplement resources on specific projects
      • Conduct policy analysis to identify policy affecting issues of importance to people with disabilities
      • Prepare policy briefs to assemble policy-relevant research
      • Participate as needed in knowledge mobilization activities
      • Publish and present research findings as usual in traditional academic venues

In addition to the research functions outlined above, the academic partners have responsibilities in training and scholarship:

  • Classroom teaching regarding disability policy
  • Supervision of graduate students working in the area of disability policy
  • Contribute to skills development regarding research among the partners
  • Employment and supervision of students as research assistants on specific projects

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2. Community Partners


The community partners contribute the following:

Assistance with identification of important problems faced by their members in each of our research policy areas

  • Shape results in a way that the priority needs and lives of consumers are positively impacted
  • Identify members within their organization who might be interested to serve on a particular project.
  • A major role for the community partners lies in knowledge mobilization activities:

1. Reaching out to policy-makers on behalf of their membership to promote optimally effective policy for people with disabilities

2. Getting information out to their members and distribution networks

  • Community partners contribute to the development of knowledge and expertise of all partners as regards the issues of their constituency.

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3. Policy Partners


The policy partners (Federal and Provincial) function in an advisory capacity to all teams.  Their role includes the following:

  • Assist in understanding the policy environment relative to any particular issues that they are addressing
  • Assist in identifying appropriate contact persons within government responsible for the policy area under consideration
  • Assist in framing messages to take government priorities, sensitive issues, program developments into consideration
  • Assist in understanding the timeliness of particular policy issues and the opportunities for meaningful citizen engagement

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From 2009 – 2014, the Canadian Disability Policy Alliance (CDPA) was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) as a Community – University Research Alliance. From 2014 – 2021, CDPA provides content expertise in disability policy for the Canadian Disability Participation Project also funded by the SSHRC under the Partnerships Grant Program.

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