Research At the CED Banner

The WVU CED stimulates and promotes interdisciplinary research where scientists, practitioners, and people with disabilities work together to tackle disability-related issues relevant to West Virginia. One of the key objectives of the WVU CED is to improve the lives of West Virginians of all ages with disabilities by supporting diverse, inclusive communities. Our research aligns with that mission and addresses the domains of employment, access to quality health care, health and wellness, and transitions.

Recent / Current Research Initiatives

Researcher Project
Lesley Cottrell, PhD Parental Survey for Cleft Lip and Palate Children in West Virginia
Amanda Acord-Vira, OTR/L, EdD Focus Group Needs Assessment: Needs of TBI Survivors, Their Family Members and Professionals Who Serve Them
Melina Danko, MS Voices of Disability
Lesley Cottrell, PhD Providing supplemental resources to providers and at risk families.
Saylem Depasquale, MS Paths for Parents Nutrition Outcome Measures
Lesley Cottrell, PhD Physical Activity Toolkit Facilitator Use Survey
Cassaundra Miller, CCC-SLP Emergent Online Clinical Learning Theory & Telehealth Pedagogies During COVID-19
Anastasia Riley WV Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities and Mental Illness Co-existing Needs Assessment Survey
Lesley Cottrell, PhD Assessing provider and family perceptions of care coordination services in the first three years after childbirth
Cassaundra Miller, CCC-SLP Emergent Online Clinical Learning Theory & Telehealth Pedagogies During COVID-19
Amanda Acord-Vira, OTR/L, EdD WV Traumatic Brain Injury Needs Assessment Survey: Person with a TBI, Family Member and Professional
Lesley Cottrell, PhD Assessing WV IMPACT Partnerships Through Quantity, Type and Strength Over Time
Lesley Cottrell, PhD Perspectives on Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Interventions: Survey of Speech-Language Pathologists in WV
Cassaundra Miller, CCC-SLP Clinical Learning in Higher Education during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Student Comparisons of In-person and Telehealth Teaching Paradigms
Jessica Wright Needs for Assistive Technology in West Virginia Survey
Lesley Cottrell, PhD Developing and adapting an art therapy mask creation (ATMC) intervention for individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) across select clinical and non-clinical settings

Current Research Surveys

Assistive Technology Needs Assessment Survey - research study consists of a survey to gather information about what assistive technology (AT) can help you, your access and experiences with AT, and what areas and age groups in WV need additional support.

TBI Needs Assessment Survey - a research project to understand the unmet needs and barriers to care, that exist among people having a traumatic brain injury within the last 10 years, family member of a person having a traumatic brain injury and professionals serving a person having a traumatic brain injury.

Research Highlights

Accountable Health Community (AHC) Project

This project is a CMS-funded randomized controlled trial to examine the benefits of providing patient navigation services to address social service needs. The purpose of the initiative is to provide a bridge of coordinated care that would link individuals’ medical homes with social service providers so that their social service needs are resolved and they are able to respond to medical treatment and advice.

The WVU CED, DD Council, and WV State Advocates are providing the teams and expertise to navigate individuals to social service providers; WVU CED is coordinating these services. Specifically, partners will utilize completed assessments of social service needs among individuals seeking medical treatment within the Partners in Health medical clinics. Once the needs are identified, we will utilize our existing inventory of social service providers throughout the state to connect social service providers to the individuals in need.

Including All Kids Policy Roundtable


The CED is partnering with the West Virginia Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health, Project W.A.T.C.H. and the West Virginia Home Visitation Program to address neonatal abstinence syndrome service challenges. This collaborative has developed the Appalachian Rural Health Integration Model, which will work to continue strengthening the existing infrastructure for children with special needs and their families.

The project, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Maternal and Child Health Bureau, will expand the home visitation infrastructure in six northern West Virginia counties that have some of the greatest incidence rates of NAS among infants. To learn more about IMPACT WV, visit