618 Center Point Way Gaithersburg, MD 20878-9997 P.O. Box 84083


Documenting the Results of Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment of Americans with Disabilities (DRIVE)

According to the American Community Survey, from 2008 to 2013, the employment rate for individuals with disabilities dropped by 12.4 percent or 4.9 percentage points (from 39.5% to 34.6%).[1] While individuals with disabilities have recently made employment gains in a tight labor market, these statistics illustrate their enduring vulnerability to employment instability. Social Dynamics has also calculated the marginal effect a disability has on earnings to show the “penalty” individuals with disabilities face in the labor market for self-disclosing their disability. The marginal effect on earnings for those who self-disclose a disability is -23 percent relative to non-disabled workers, and another -17 percent for minorities with disabilities relative to their non-minority counterparts. To continue to address these disparities, Social Dynamics will continue to support the Office of Disability Employment Policy’s (ODEP) DRIVE initiative (formerly known as Employment First).

During the past 5 years, Social Dynamics has developed a deep understanding of USDOL’s interest in and approach to promoting supported, integrated employment for Americans with disabilities. Social Dynamics provides training and technical assistance (T/TA) to evaluate how states are promoting provider transformation, rate restructuring, capacity building, and improvements in school-to-work and mental health services while also facilitating formal partnerships and collaborations across state systems.

Demonstration and Evaluation of Community College Interventions for Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities

Social Dynamics and the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) are part of the Westat team awarded a contract with the US DOL’s Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) in collaboration with the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). The project includes an outcome analysis, program implementation and fidelity measures, and innovative models for providing integrated education and career development services to youth and young adults with disabilities between the ages of 14 and 24. The goal is to design interventions that can be replicated nationally to help youth and young adults with disabilities acquire the skills, degrees, and credentials they need for high-wage, highly skilled employment.

Post High School Outcomes of Youth with Disabilities NLTS-2012

Social Dynamics is part of the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) NLST 2012 team. NLST 2012 is a 5-year-longitudinal study of the characteristics, experiences, and outcomes of a nationally representative sample of youth with disabilities. The study is designed to collect data on NLST 2012 sample members. Social Dynamics is supporting RTI with data management and integration services that will leverage multiple sources of data to support analyses of youth outcomes. This study is sponsored by the United States Department of Education, Institute of Educational Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics.


Improving Outcomes of Individuals with Significant Disabilities through America’s Workforce Investment System: Infusing Customized Employment Strategies into Career Pathways & Employer Engagement Initiatives (Customized Employment Strategies)

Social Dynamics, in partnerships with Altarum Institute, is the prime contractor for Customized Employment (CE) Strategies, which is designed to develop and disseminate customized employment practices that support the public workforce investment system. Customized employment addresses the persistent low participation rate of individuals with disabilities in the workforce. Social Dynamics and Altarum Institute will produce a gaps analysis and proposal for utilization of existing public TA/Training resources to support workforce development professionals in building capacity around CE strategies; develop new CE T/TA materials that support incorporation of CE strategies into Career Pathways initiatives within American Job Centers; conduct a national CE Policy Environmental Scan; and convert CE policy and T/TA materials into a virtual CE Policy Compendium and Repository. The contract also includes interviews and mini-case studies of employers that are using CE.


Evaluation of the Employment and Training Administration/Office of Disability Employment Policy Disability Employment Initiative Rounds 1-4

Social Dynamics is completing the evaluation of DEI grantees in Round 4. The DEI Evalutation Team will focus on finalizing Round 4 as well as integrating data from Rounds 1-4 to conduct an impact analysis using Rounds 1-3 and in 2018, Rounds 1-4. Other project activities include: an SSA data exchange designed to identify SSA beneficiaries involved in the Ticket to Work program, continued implementation analysis site visits, focus groups and interviews with DEI stakeholders, a systems change analysis and final report.


Evaluation of the Employment and Training Administration/Office of Disability Employment Policy Disability Employment Initiative Rounds 5-6

Social Dynamics, in partnership with Abt Associates, was recently awarded a 5-year contract to conduct an evaluation of DEI grantees in Rounds 5-6. Grantees will utilize strategic service delivery components, including Career Pathways to help program participants develop skills required of local business sectors in in-demand industries and occupations. This approach will build on the success of DEI Rounds 1-4 by adding job-driven approaches in existing career pathway systems and programs to equip individuals with disabilities with the skills, competencies, and credentials necessary to help them obtain in-demand jobs and long-term employment. A Quasi-Experimental Study Design will be used to measure program impact.

Demonstration and Impact Evaluation of the Short-Time Compensation Program

Social Dynamics is part of the Westat team awarded a contract with the U.S. DOL’s Chief Evaluation Office to conduct a study of short-time compensation (STC) programs as described in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Jobs Creation Act of 2012. This impact study includes a cost analysis and cross-site implementation analysis. The impact study will focus on demonstration innovations targeted at increasing employer participation in STC. Social Dynamics is leading the implementation analysis, which will address fidelity to program requirements and barriers and facilitators to implementation. The Westat team also includes the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research (Dr. Susan Houseman).

Evaluating and Documenting the Results of Employment First Efforts at the State and National Level: Assessing the Office of Disability Employment Policy’s Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program. Social Dynamics and its partners help design and maintain the comprehensive disability employment database website DRIVE, which provides regularly updated state and national outcome data and policy changes.

In the second year of this contract, Social Dynamics and our partners the Altarum Institute and the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) are working on an ODEP-sponsored task order that involves evaluation activities to: (a) document the continued evolution of EF initiatives across the nation; (b) summarize activities of the EFLSMP initiative and assess the impact of this initiative on state and national EF efforts; (c) create a national repository of resources related to improved integrated employment and socioeconomic advancement outcomes of individuals with significant disabilities; (d) share the information and data with Federal partners to advance national disability employment policy and systems-change investments; and (e) use the results of previous EFLSMP evaluations to inform  technical assistance to the core states in following years.


Updating Research for the Equal Pay Data Collection

Social Dynamics conducted the Equal Pay Data Collection Research project for the US DOL Women’s Bureau in 2011-2012. Social Dynamics and our partner, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), are working with the Women’s Bureau to update seven key areas in the original research to study employer data collection practices relevant to assessing gender-based pay disparities. This update is intended to provide information that better reflects the current dynamics and practices, and addresses whether there have been any significant changes or advances in technology since 2012 that would make collection and reporting of equal compensation data easier or more difficult for employee

Opportunities for Women to Build, Transport, and Protect America

Women employed in nontraditional jobs earn higher wages than women employed in traditionally female occupations. Social Dynamics, in partnership with VYD and Associates, has contracted with the US DOL’s Women’s Bureau to develop an innovative, interactive digital clearinghouse that will provide timely and relevant information on construction, transportation, and security occupations. The clearinghouse will include information about current and past best practices and lessons learned related to training and employment for women in nontraditional jobs.

Women Veterans Employment Research Project

Female veterans represent the most rapidly increasing segment of the veteran population in the U.S., yet their distinctive employment and training needs are often unrecognized. Social Dynamics was the prime contractor on a project designed to address the gaps in research and policies that may further understanding of the complex needs and issues of women veterans. The DOL’s Women’s Bureau contracted the Social Dynamics team to conduct research and produce deliverables aimed at informing the Federal government’s work of supporting employment and training opportunities for women veterans. The project included producing a comprehensive literature review, white paper, and final report related to employment for women veterans, as well as developing policy options that may improve working conditions and opportunities for women veterans and identifying gaps in existing research on the topic of employment and women veterans.

Blanket Purchase Agreement with the Chief Evaluation Office

The U.S. Department of Labor, Chief Evaluation Office is within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy. Under this Blanket Purchase Agreement, Social Dynamics works with Westat (Prime Contractor) on research and evaluation studies, including data collection, statistical analysis, performance measurement, and development of research and evaluation deliverable.

Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) with the Office of Disability Employment Policy

Social Dynamics works with the Burton Blatt Institute of Syracuse University and Altarum Institute to provide research and evaluation services to US DOL’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), including data collection, statistical analysis, performance measurement, and development of research and evaluation deliverables.



  • Equal Pay Data Collection Research (Women’s Bureau)
  • Individualized Learning Plans Research & Demonstration Project: Year 2 (ODEP)
  • Evaluation of the Disability Employment Initiative: Year 2 (ODEP)
  • Universal Design Employment Project (ODEP)
  • Workplace Flexibility Toolkit (ODEP)
  • Research and Analysis of Workplace Flexibility Programs: Six Profiles of Successful Business Practices and Workplace Flexibility (Women’s Bureau)


  • Women’s Bureau Latina Research and Analysis (Women’s Bureau)
  • Workplace Flexibility Research and Analysis (Women’s Bureau)
  • Evaluation of the Disability Employment Initiative: Year 1 (ODEP)
  • Individualized Learning Plans Research & Demonstration Project: Year 1 (ODEP)
  • ODEP Forum: Advancing Workplace Flexibility Policies and Practices (Women’s Bureau/ODEP)


  • Independent Evaluation of the START-UP/USA Self-Employment Program for People with Disabilities
  • Analysis of the Impact of Aging into Disability on the Labor Market
  • Independent Evaluation of Self-Employment Programs for People with Disabilities
  • The Evaluation of the Wolf Trap National Endowment for the Arts Pilot Project Residency Program


  • Survey of Public Attitudes Toward People with Disabilities (Design Project)
  • Community-Based Financing Toolkit 
  • Wellness Program Literature Review 
  • Impact of Social Studies Supplemental Programs in Kansas
  • Operational and Procedural Road Map for the Interagency Committee for Disability Research, Subcommittee on Employment
  • Performance Measurement Tracking and Monitoring Task Order

For a detailed list of all projects, please click here.