Insights from Federal Agencies on How to Engage People with Disabilities in Policies, Programs, and Evaluations

Jul 18, 2023 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. ET

Presentation Materials:

Speaker Bios Presentation Slides Transcript


Efforts to infuse equitable and inclusive practices into all phases of federally funded evaluations can transform our understanding of how—and for whom—policies and programs work. Up to one in four adults in the United States have a disability and many participate in an array of federal programs. As federal agencies seek to center equity in the design, implementation, and communication of their projects and evaluations, they have recognized the importance of engaging people with lived experience, including those with disabilities. Disability-focused programs and offices that have sought to embed equity into their work can provide valuable insight on how to incorporate the lived experience of people with disabilities into policies, programs, research, and evaluations.

Mathematica’s Center for Studying Disability Policy and some of our federal partners held a virtual roundtable discussion about agencies’ successes, challenges, and lessons learned as they have incorporated lived experience and equitable research practices into their disability-related programs and policies. Panelists included the following:

  • Jeffrey Hemmeter, Acting Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Research, Demonstration, and Employment Support, Social Security Administration
  • Marie Lawrence, Senior Social Science Research Analyst, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Savi Swick, Director of Research, Employment and Training Programs, Chief Evaluation Office, U.S. Department of Labor

They were joined by Purvi Sevak, Mathematica’s business director of disability projects, who shared experiences from some of our research teams, and Denise Hoffman, a principal researcher at Mathematica, who moderated the event.