the Institute for Human Development (IHD), we have whole-heartedly embraced evidence-based practice as a
decision-making framework that involves the conscientious integration of the
best available evidence, professional judgment and clinical expertise, and
client values, preferences, and context. To facilitate communication among
disability professionals, we refer to treatments, interventions, and programs
that meet specific criteria for research support as empirically supported interventions (known in some disciplines as
empirically supported treatments). It should be noted that our definition of
best available evidence extends beyond the high evidence standards used to
establish empirically supported interventions. Our concept of best available
evidence includes the available evidence
in the absence of the best evidence. This
means practitioners are encouraged to consider the evidence that is available so that some degree of
research evidence can always be considered together with professional judgment
and client values, preferences, and context to make clinical decisions.
IHD has an outstanding team of researchers who are also expert practitioners in
the disability disciplines of medicine, psychology, speech-language pathology,
and education. This team is actively engaged in innovative research that has
direct implications for disability-related practice. We aim to narrow the
research-to-practice gap through active dissemination of research
recommendations using practitioner-friendly formats. Our goal is to
support organizations and practitioners in
- understanding evidence-based practice as a
- selecting interventions with the best available
- integrating clinical expertise and client values
To accomplish these objectives, the
IHD has initiated a number of recent efforts:
- This will serve as a mechanism for organizing and
disseminating evidence-based resources to practitioners who work with
individuals with disabilities.
- Practitioners from many human service disciplines will be
able to receive continuing education units (CEUs).
- Conference participants will receive electronic handouts
with references so that they can document the evidence supporting the
- Briefs emphasize how the results of the featured study
extend the current best available evidence.
- Briefs highlight how the results can be integrated with
professional judgment and client values, preferences, and context to make
- Sign up to be on the dissemination email list.
and Research Syntheses
- Workshops, trainings, and conference presentations are
available on the following topics: Evidence-based Practice, Professional
Judgment and Client Values, Using Research in Practice, and Working
Collaboratively with Others.
- Research syntheses are reviews of literature specifically
designed to inform policy and/or practice.
Education and Treatment of Children SpecialIssue
American Speech-language Hearing Association(ASHA)