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Experience Makes a Difference

Academic studies. Career exploration. Community involvement.

We aim to enrich undergraduate education in the Faculty of Social Sciences through fostering unique approaches to learning within the classroom and more actively engaging students in the community, as well as promoting strong relationships between academic studies, career exploration and community involvement.

Mapping connections between disability, education and employment, among young people with intellectual/ developmental disabilities who have experienced homelessness

The goal of this project is to systematically map the intersections between intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities (ID/DD), education, and employment among youth who have experienced homelessness, in order to identify system-wide gaps and opportunities to develop interventions, improve policy and further research.

This project is a partnership that brings leading researchers on disability and homelessness together with partner organizations (that offer educational, employment, and support services to disabled and homeless youth), and disabled youth who have experienced homelessness to co-produce knowledge that provide a better understanding of the role disability and homelessness play in educational attainment and employment prospects for youth, and to identify their needs and potential supports within and outside the homelessness and disability sectors. This research will be conducted in three Ontario cities: Toronto, Hamilton, and Niagara.

This project is funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council Partnership Development Grant 890-2013-0086. In addition, we received a research award from the Southern Network of Specialized Care to conduct this research in the Hamilton and Niagara region.

If you want to learn more about this research project, please contact the project manager, Lisa Watt, at

Partnering for Change: Project Updates

Thank You. We want to begin by thanking all of our partners on this Partnering for Change Project for your help with the process of collecting data. We have collected substantial information over the past two years. Your help in sharing data, assisting in recruitment, helping us make connections, and so much more has been invaluable.
Jun 29, 2018

McMaster study looking at ways to prevent homelessness among youth with intellectual, developmental disabilities

Researchers from the School of Social Work are working with six co-researchers with intellectual and developmental disabilities and experiences of homelessness (three of which are pictured above) on a project aimed at finding ways to prevent youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities from falling through the cracks.
Feb 13, 2017