CDS conducts a wide range of education, research, and service activities in collaboration with other disciplines.

1. Education, Interdisciplinary Training, and Technical Assistance

CDS offers interdisciplinary pre-service and in-service education and training, technical assistance and education activities, and disseminates data and research-based practices within the field of disability and diversity studies. Projects and activities are responsive to the personnel development needs identified by health, education, and human service agencies providing a wide range of services to people with disabilities and their families in Hawai‘i, the Pacific Region, and the nation. All projects and activities promote consumer and family involvement, community inclusion, self-determination, and systems improvement through interdisciplinary university and community partnerships to improve future choices.

2. Community and University Service

The CDS is committed to developing resources to expand and improve services for persons with disabilities so self-determination will be a realistic option in Hawai‘i, the Pacific Region, and the United States mainland. To achieve this purpose, emphasis is placed on training, consulting, and technical assistance to develop, support, and sustain community-based services. The CDS works closely with other organizations serving persons with disabilities, advocacy groups, and self-advocates within the community to develop grants and other resources to expand opportunities across the life span of people with disabilities. The CDS faculty and staff provide consultation to departments and agencies locally and regionally by serving on national, regional, state and local committees, workgroups and task forces.

3. Research and Evaluation

The CDS focuses its activities to promote consumer and family involvement, community inclusion, self-determination, and systems improvement through research, dissemination, and evaluation agendas that respond to local and national initiatives. Research-based practices are an important part of program improvement and systems-change projects and are conducted in partnership with consumers, self-advocates, and federal and state agencies. Research activities include controlled interventions, longitudinal studies, participatory action research, and evaluation strategies that assess the implementation of values-based practices.