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Social Determinants of Health and Disability Outcomes Research Laboratory



Director wearing a red blouse smiling for the camera

Amanda Botticello, PhD, MPH
Laboratory Director

One of our main goals is to generate actionable information about how communities shape the disability experience. The knowledge we gain will inform ongoing policy efforts to make public places more accessible and to ensure social inclusion for people with disabilities.


Areas of Focus

Amanda Botticello, PhD, MPH, directs the Social Determinants of Health and Disability Outcomes Research Laboratory, part of the Center for Outcomes and Assessment Research where she is also associate director at Kessler Foundation. Researchers here are dedicated to evaluating and improving community living conditions and understanding how the environment contributes to barriers for individuals with disability. The team addresses gaps for a number of populations, including adults with spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, muscular sclerosis, stroke, and children with special healthcare needs.

Deciphering the complex relationship between someone's environment and their disability experience is one of our main objectives. This knowledge will serve as a compass to guide ongoing policy initiatives geared towards creating more accessible public spaces, improving the understanding and attitudes of the general public towards people with disabilities, and fostering inclusivity to allow everyone to thrive.

Utilizing national data, lab researchers analyze geographic disparities, economic disadvantage, and the physical aspects of community construction. They also examine infrastructure, access to transit, and societal attitudes toward individuals with disabilities. Scientists prepare methodological reports by applying their expertise in survey research, advanced biostatistics, ecological momentary assessment, and mixed methods research.

The research team also explores factors related to the special healthcare needs of children and young adults with disabilities, particularly their ability to return to school and cope with ongoing medical conditions. Understanding the outcomes for these children is crucial, especially in terms of determining the support needed from nursing staff, social workers, and a supportive administration in educational institutions and identifying gaps in these services.


Current Funding Support

National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)
Craig H. Neilsen Foundation
New Jersey Governor’s Council on Autism Research

Social Determinants of Health and Disability Outcomes Research Lab Team