Inclusive Design for Employment Access (IDEA): Evidence synthesis

Reasons for the study

Inclusive Design for Employment Access (IDEA) is a social innovation lab co-led by scientists at the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) and McMaster University. IDEA is advancing knowledge and practice on how workplaces and related systems can be better designed to support their full inclusion of persons with disabilities.

Crucial to the project's success is knowing what related evidence is already available that IDEA can incorporate and build upon. To that end, "knowledge synthesis" is one of four activity areas that will support tool and resource development across the IDEA initiative. The knowledge synthesis activity is using a "5-Step Signature Methodology" developed for IDEA—a methodology that builds upon rapid review methods developed by IWH in collaboration with other evidence synthesis centres; for example, McMaster Health Forum.

Objectives of the study

  • Build methodological capacity among IDEA's researchers to conduct rapid evidence syntheses and environmental scans 
  • Through rapid reviews and environmental scans, identify needs/challenges, knowledge gaps, existing evidence and existing evidence-informed tools and promising practices related to IDEA's objectives
  • Conduct an environmental scan to determine the nature of wrap-around supports available for persons with disabilities and how they are used in different contexts 

This is a subproject of the IDEA initiative. For more information about IDEA, including the full list of research team members and collaborators, go to the IDEA project page

Target audience

Canadian work disability policy system stakeholders, including injured worker/disability community representatives, employers, policy-makers, disability program administrators, educators and service providers

Project status


Research team

  • Emile Tompa, Institute for Work & Health (PI)
  • Rebecca Gewurtz, McMaster University (PI)
  • Emma Irvin, Institute for Work & Health

Funded by

New Frontiers in Research Fund (a Tri-Agency Program—CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC)