Institute on Disability Receives Grant for National Disability Employer Practices Survey (NH UCEDD/LEND)

December 12, 2016

The Institute on Disability (IOD) at the University of New Hampshire has been awarded a $265,000 Signature Employment Grant by Kessler Foundation to conduct the "Kessler Foundation Employer Practices Survey." The IOD will collaborate with the University of New Hampshire Survey Center on the project.

"Many employers fully engage people with disabilities in their workforces--hiring, retaining, and advancing their employees with disabilities," said Andrew Houtenville, Research Director at the Institute on Disability. "This new survey will generate actionable information by identifying effective practices corresponding to specific barriers, as well as, identifying detailed information on existing and emerging practices - such as details about linchpin factors in the implementation of a given practice."

The IOD and UNH Survey Center will conduct a survey of 1,500 senior executives in the U.S. Senior executives will be asked three sequential questions related to experience with a past and/or present barrier, success in overcoming the barrier, and practice approaches attempted (successfully and unsuccessfully) to overcome the barrier.

The three goals of the Kessler Foundation Employer Practices survey are (1) to report the prevalence of the use of certain practices in the United States, (2) identify successful practices in sufficient detail to generate useful materials and motivate future study, and (3) identify barriers that are seldom addressed successfully and require the development of new innovative practices.

The results of the Employer Practices Survey combined with 2015's Kessler National Employment Survey ( will paint a full picture of disability employment from both the perspective of the employer as well as the perspective of people with disabilities who are looking for or are currently employed.

The Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire was established in 1987 to provide a coherent university-based focus for the improvement of knowledge, policies, and practices related to the lives of persons with disabilities and their families. Its mission is to promote full access, equal opportunities, and participation for all persons by strengthening communities and advancing policy and systems change, promising practices, education, and research.

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.