The “New Paradigm” of disability and the International Classification of Function Disability and Health both describe an ecological model of disability that has significantly influenced policy and law, and this model is frequently cited as a background in published research. Given the central role of “the environment” in this ecological model, we asked, what is the status of research on the environment and disability? Specifically, is a scoping review warranted in this area of research?
We conducted a “rapid scan” of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC) database for articles reporting studies of the environment – defined as the arranged or built environment. We also scanned Google Scholar to ascertain the frequency of articles that might report research into the environment.
NARIC archived 12,486 items published from January 2007 to June 2012; 530 (4.2%) of which contained the search term “environment.” Of the 530 items, 78 (14.7%) also included the terms architecture space, accessibility, and ICF. Over the same time period, Google Scholar returned 109,000 entries to search terms “disability and environment,” 349 (0.3%) of which also included the terms architecture space, accessibility, and ICF.
This application of a method for rapidly assessing the status of the literature suggests that research into some aspects of the environment and disability may be under-represented. A more complete review, requiring more resources, is warranted.
This work was supported, in part, by a grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation (H133B000823). The authors wish to thank Phil Beaty for his comments on an earlier version of this paper. We also thank those who reviewed an earlier version of the paper before submission for consideration in this special issue.
Hammond, J. and Seekins, T. (2014), "Using a Rapid Scan to Assess the Need for a Scoping Review of the Literature on the Environment and Disability", Environmental Contexts and Disability (Research in Social Science and Disability, Vol. 8), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 165-183. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-354720140000008010
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