» Research Articles

Peer-reviewed journal articles and reports by the Thompson Policy Institute’s Faculty Affiliates can be located under the focus areas below. You may contact our faculty affiliates and staff via e-mail, as listed on our team page.

Transition to Work

TPI’s current focus is on the movement from schools to meaningful employment toward the goal of a quality adult life. TPI is committed to increasing the rate and conditions of employment for people with disabilities. TPI is also part of the Orange County Transition Initiative (OCTI), a collaboration with the Orange County Department of Education, The Regional Center of Orange County, and The Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. OCTI strives to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities, families, educators, and local and state agency representatives in areas critical to the successful transition of individuals with disabilities into the adult world. 


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Disability Prevalence

TPI’s work in this area attempts to explain the significant increase in the rate of ASD diagnosis and determine what impact this increase has on schools and adult life. TPI is also investigating how policies may have inadvertently impacted this change in prevalence. To learn more, read our 2017 Summary Report

Article: Cardinal, D., Griffiths, A., Maupin, Z., & Fraumeni-McBride, J. (2020). An investigation of increased rates of autism in U.S. public schools. Psychology in the Schools. doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/pits.22425 

Figure 1: State sampling by population centers in the United States (US Census, 2010)
Figure 1: State sampling by population centers in the United States (US Census, 2010)
image of a graph illustrating expected vs. actual gap scores per Disability Category: 2000-2015
Figure 2: Graph illustrating expected vs. actual gap scores per Disability Category: 2000-2015


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Educational Practices

As a field, we seek how to match the specific needs of an individual with the best educational practice. Research on this topic helps us customize a person’s education with methods of practice that are evidenced-based, effective and safe. TPI is dedicated to being sure proven effective methods are available to teachers and parents and that they are properly trained to use those effective methods of learning. Educational practices include learning strategies, how to measure their effectiveness for a specific person, and the conditions surrounding optimal learning conditions, such as space, support, timing, and physical and fiscal structures.


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School and Community Inclusion

Why are some schools more inclusive than others? Are there policies in place that support or hinder inclusive practices? TPI has engaged in a multi-state analysis of this phenomenon. TPI is also interested in the equitable availability of supports for people with disabilities our society.


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Ethnicity within Disability

Does ethnicity play a role in how schools assign eligibility to students who need specialized services? TPI seeks to better understand the role of race and gender in schools, assess any discrepancies and, where needed, correct disproportionalities in schools and communities.


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Community Living

Where and how we live seriously impacts the quality of our lives. TPI is investigating promising ideas and models that serve the goal of an inclusive living community, as well as assessing if we, as a society, are approximating desirable living opportunities for people with disabilities.


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Disability Studies/Social Perception

The TPI Network strives to discover the barriers to quality of life for people with disabilities of all ages and to mitigate those barriers through identifying, understanding, making others aware, and to mobilizing communities through changes in perceptions, laws, regulations and actions. Barriers can be physical, like a curb-cut, however, barriers are frequently social, conceptual and perceptional.


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