Increasing Equitable Access to Individuals with Disabilities: Participation in Electronic Public Administration Research
Keywords:Equitable Access, Social Equity, Electronic Research, Disability Policy
Individuals with disabilities (both physical and cognitive) constitute 15% of the global population and 25% of U.S. citizens. However, public administration has not given explicit thought to how current research methods and other data collection processes or tools might exclude individuals with disabilities. This lack of attention to research methods and instruments might impose barriers and limit access to participation for individuals with disabilities who would otherwise meet the requirements for participation within the research design. This omission undermines social equity, a critical pillar of public administration, by systematically excluding individuals with disabilities from the research process. Equitable research ensures that scholars are not excluding participants from the research while obtaining insights from the ‘relevant population.’ Current exclusionary practices raise several questions that are addressed in this essay including: (1) What are the implications of equitable access in electronic research? (2) What are the barriers of access for individuals with disabilities who want to participate in research, like surveys conducted through an electronic delivery system? and (3) What would an equitable data collection and research design look like?
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