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Research Projects

Current Projects


Oklahoma National Core Indicators

Since 2013, OSUCDD has contracted with Oklahoma Human Services Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) to collect the annual National Core Indicators (NCI) data for the state of Oklahoma. NCI represents a national effort to measure and improve the performance of state developmental disabilities service systems. Each year, a team of trained undergraduate a‍nd graduate research assistants travel across the state to collect the NCI In-Person Survey data from a random, representative sample of 400 adults who receive DDS services. Since FY22, OSUCDD has also collected the NCI Adult Family Survey data through mailed surveys sent to all families who have an adult family member (18 years or older) with an intellectual or developmental disability who lives in the family home and receives at least one service other than case management. In FY23, OSUCDD further expanded the contract with DDS to also collect the NCI State of the Workforce survey. The State of the Workforce Survey is an online survey completed by representatives of provider agencies across the state to learn more about the wages, benefits and concerns of the professional direct care workforce supporting individuals receiving DDS services.


Oklahoma NCI Reports

Potential drug interactions in medication regimens of adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.



Past Projects


Deinstitutionalization: Transition to Community Living

In 2012, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OK-DHS) passed a resolution to close the two remaining state-funded institutions that were providing care to approximately 240 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. As individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities transitioned to living in the community, their family members became overseers of their care for the first time in at least two decades. The Deinstitutionalization Project, led by Drs. Jennifer Jones and Kami Gallus, aimed to better understand families’ experiences during the mandated transition of their relative with intellectual and developmental disabilities from institutional care to community living in Oklahoma and consisted of two phases.


What Matters to Family Members When A Relative Transitions to Community Living

In the news


Let’s Take a Walk

Let’s Take a Walk! began as an innovative research study and interdisciplinary outreach program bringing OSU students and Stillwater community members with intellectual and developmental disabilities together for a healthier, more diverse campus. In spring 2018, we explored the feasibility and outcomes of Let’s Take a Walk!. Undergraduate students were paired with community members with intellectual and developmental disabilities to walk together on campus for 45 minutes twice per week for 12 weeks. Measures assessing physical and mental health, stress and attitudes toward disability and inclusion were administered across three time points to student walkers, student controls, community walkers and caregivers. Positive outcomes were noted across the semester-long program. Community walkers reported significant decreases in depression and anxiety symptoms while student walkers expressed positive changes in attitudes toward disability and inclusion. Findings suggest Let’s Take a Walk! is an easily implemented, well-received program with long-term potential for enhancing health and diversity at OSU.


Let’s Take a Walk: Exploring intellectual disability as diversity in higher education.

Let’s Take A Walk: Exploring the impact of an inclusive walking program on the physical and mental health of adults with intellectual disability
Exploring the impact of guided interaction programs on undergraduate students’ attitudes toward people with intellectual disability.


Oklahoma Project to Promote Self-Determination

In partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS), the Center for Developmental Disabilities developed and piloted an intervention study informed by and aligned with the Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction (SDLMI; Shogren, Raley, Burke, & Wehmeyer, 2019) to promote self-awareness and increase self-determination of individuals receiving Home and Community Based waivered services in the Stillwater area. Promoting and enhancing supports and services that foster self-determination is essential as decades of research show that self-determination is a significant predictor of valued outcomes including employment and community participation (Shogren & Shaw, 2016; Shogren, Wehmeyer, Palmer, Rifenbark, & Little, 2015; Wehmeyer & Palmer, 2003; Wehmeyer & Schwartz, 1997). Additionally, our previous research on self-determination utilizing data from the Oklahoma National Core Indicators suggests that environmental opportunities for choice and control can be identified that may impact individuals’ self-reported self-determination (Jones et al., 2018). This project explored the feasibility and effectiveness of an intervention focused on providing training on self-determination and more specifically, on teaching the skills needed to become a causal agent in one’s own life (e.g., problem solving, self-awareness, making choices) to individuals receiving Home and Community Based waivered services in the Stillwater area.


Promoting self-determination in community contexts: Experiences with implementing the self-determined learning model of instruction.


Scissortail Companion Program

The Center for Developmental Disabilities is collaborating with Oklahoma Human Services – Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) and AbleLink Smart Living Technologies to study the feasibility and outcomes associated with the implementation of Scissortail Companion. The Scissortail Companion provides full access to Windows software and is designed to provide adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities much-needed accessible tools for communication and independence at home.

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