Community Mobility and Participation in Society Lab (COMPASS)
Transportation is an essential requirement for independent community living and participation in society. While medical rehabilitation, rehabilitation engineering, and research have helped to reduce the effects of chronic disease and disabling conditions, and despite the positive public transportation accommodations provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, those with chronic disabling conditions face mobility barriers that result in social isolation, poor nutrition, poor quality of life, reduced education opportunities, reduced employment opportunities, and other challenges. The Community Mobility and Participation in Society Lab (COMPASS) provides researchers the opportunity to understand how to reduce barriers to public transportation usage by people with disabling conditions and share their findings with service providers.
The COMPASS Lab uses the gains made in medical rehabilitation and research to further enable access to public transportation for those who are transportation disadvantaged so that they may “live, learn, and earn”(1).
Professor Crabtree’s work to improve the lives of persons with disabling conditions is another example of how IUPUI’s faculty members are TRANSLATING their RESEARCH INTO PRACTICE.
(1) Young, J. M., Lehrer-Stein, J.,Young-Holmes, P. & Staff of the National Council on Disability. (2012). National Disability Policy: A Progress Report. Washington, DC: National Council on Disability.
(Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, 2015-04-17) Crabtree, Jeffrey L.; Ohm, David; Wall, Jarrod; Ray, Joseph; Cheesman, Mackenzie; Goldman, Lainey; Ridener, Emilea; Rosswurm, Kelsey
Background: In 2013 about 10 million people were involved in various stages of imprisonment world-wide. In that same year there were about 1,574,700 persons in state and federal prisons in the United States, and 29,905 in Indiana (state and federal) prisons. Most of those people will return to society, but for how long? According to the most recent data available, a little over two-thirds (67.8%) of those released were arrested for a new crime within 3 years and over three-quarters (76.6%) were arrested for a new crime within 5 years. Education is one of the most effective reducers of recidivism, but it is unclear what kinds of education best prepare people to not only return to society, but to thrive in society. Objectives: The first of a two-part study explored how 27 residents of a minimum security prison responded to an Occupational Therapy Community Living Skills Program (OTCLS) developed to help prepare residents for successful reentry into society. Method: Using a participatory action research (PAR) approach, we interviewed 27 residents who completed the program. Once the semi-structured interviews were transcribed, the PAR team conducted a summative content analysis of the data. Results: Initial content analysis yielded five concepts: doing; information; re-entry fears (socialization); technology; and self-worth. Participants seemed to gain a sense of self-worth by doing activities related to information gathering, socialization, and technology. Further interpretation yielded three overlapping themes: 1) validation of self-worth (participants expressed how self-validating it is to have “real people” come in to help), 2) doing (role playing, a common activity, “…was kind of nerve-wracking at first then [I] began to slowly ease into it…”), and 3) concerns about the future (one resident summed up the value of the program: having “…something real positive you’re looking forward to…helps in dissipating the fears perhaps in reentry.”). Conclusions: This retrospective study identified potentially powerful elements of a successful re-entry program. In the second part of the study we will evaluate a revised program using a pre-test; post-test and follow-up approach to learn more about what kinds of education best prepare people to not only return to society, but to thrive in society.