R1: Enhancing the NIH Toolbox’s Accessibility and Usability - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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R1: Enhancing the NIH Toolbox’s Accessibility and Usability to Support the Inclusion of People with Disabilities in Health Research


Why is this study needed?

People with disabilities are a significant and growing constituency and it is important to ensure they are included in health care research, yet they are often excluded from clinical trials and other health-related research, either intentionally because they did not meet the inclusion criteria, or unintentionally because no accommodations were made for the outcome measures. Thus, the goal of this project is to evaluate and adapt a tool currently in development the NIH Toolbox, for administration to people with TBI, SCI and stroke.

How will this study help patients and rehabilitation stakeholders?

This study will advance the inclusion of people with disabilities in medical research by promoting the development of accessible and valid outcome measures not only for rehabilitation research but for medical research more broadly.

What are the project objectives?

  • Objective 1:  Evaluate accessibility and usability of the NIH Toolbox in 3 rehabilitation populations. (stroke, SCI, TBI)
  • Objective 2:  Evaluate reasonable accommodations on NIH Toolbox accessibility.
  • Objective 3:  Evaluate Best Practice Guidelines on NIH Toolbox administration.

How will the project objectives be achieved?

After the NIH Toolbox accessibility/usability audit protocol is refined, trained NIH Toolbox administrators will conduct accessibility/usability testing with people with stroke, SCI, and TBI.  Findings from this testing will help experts identify solutions to accessibility/usability barriers as well as develop Best Practice Guidelines for accessible NIH Toolbox administration.  NIH Toolbox administrators will be educated in Best Practice Guidelines and will again administer the NIH Toolbox to people with stroke, SCI, and TBI. 

What agency funded the project?

National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)

NIDDR Grant Number: H133B090024

What is the duration of the project?

October 1, 2009 - September 30, 2014

Project Staff

Principal Investigator:

Susan Magasi, Ph.D., Northwestern University

Co- Investigators:

Joy Hammel, Ph.D., University of Illinois-Chicago
Mark Harniss, Ph.D., University of Washington

Project Manager:

Phoebe Block



Related Project Research Web Sites

NIH Toolbox

National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)
National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC)

Contact Information

For researchers and students
Susan Magasi


For members of the media