Welcome to Ecology of Participation

This website is a rapid knowledge translation site where we are presenting results and implications from our research projects that are examining the ecology of participation for people with disabilities.

The website is constructed with four main headings: person, environment, person & environment, and research methods. The first three headings present results and implications for data analyses that pertain mostly to person level, environmental or interaction between people and their environment. The Research Methods heading includes background and methodological background information for the specific research projects that generated the results.

Thank you for viewing our work.  Each page includes a comment box and we welcome your input about the work we are doing.  Ideally, we would like this website to become a discussion on ecological research topics to advance disability and participation science.  To learn more about the background and methods for this work, please visit our Research Methods Page.

Feel free to leave any questions or comments below.


People choose to participate in life activities based on the opportunities available to them and certain constraints that limit their choices.  Results presented under this heading include variables that are attributable to the person including demographic, impairment, health and psychological, and individual characteristics. Of course, even individual characteristics are subject to the effects of the environment (e.g., personal income and the economy), but results presented are judged to be independent of immediate environmental effects.


Opportunities and constraints for participation are shaped by the social and physical environment of the individual.  When people have an impairment, their ability to participate and the effort they must exert to do so may be heavily influenced by the environment.  The results presented here reflect the effects of environmental conditions on participation and begin to detail our efforts to measure the environment and to relate it to participation.

Person & Environment

Participation often results from an interaction of person and environmental variables.  Most simplistically, impairment interacts with the environment to facilitate or restrict participation.  However, as we begin to examine how individual and environmental characteristics influence each other, the complexity of this interaction emerges.  Results presented here begin to examine this complexity to describe how person and environmental characteristics interact and potentially influence participation.

Research Methods

On this page you will find links to the specific research projects that developed the results presented on this site. Following these links is a general introduction to the science of ecology of participation.

About Us

This website is being produced and maintained by the Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities.  You can learn more about us here.

This website and the content presented within it was developed with funding from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research.  The information presented and views expressed are those of the authors and may not reflect those of the agency or the US government.

One thought on “Welcome to Ecology of Participation

  1. I’m not sure where you are getting your information, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thanks for excellent information I was looking for this information for my mission.

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