National Center for the
Dissemination of Disability Research

Knowledge Translation

Knowledge translation (KT) is a term that is closely related to dissemination or diffusion; however, most scholars draw an important distinction—KT is a much broader concept and places a significant emphasis on the issue of research quality and the implementation of research evidence within a system (Davis, Evans, Jadad, Perrier, Rath, Ryan et al., 2003; cited in NCDDR, 2006). KT is an appropriate process and strategy to address and reduce the gap between "what is known" and "what is currently done" in practice settings (Davis et al., 2003; Grol & Grimshaw, 2003; Grol & Jones, 2000; cited in NCDDR, 2006).

The NCDDR suggests the following working definition for KT:

The collaborative and systematic review, assessment, identification, aggregation, and practical application of high-quality disability and rehabilitation research by key stakeholders (i.e., consumers, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers) for the purpose of improving the lives of individuals with disabilities (NCDDR, 2005).

In this definition, KT involves the reporting, quality assessment, and adaptation of research and development knowledge into an understandable and contextually relevant form that reflects the NIDRR research and development priorities and that will be utilized by and benefit practitioners and consumers (NCDDR, 2005).

The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) has noted that KT plays an important role in enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities, as evidence-based knowledge, technologies, and applications must be translated in order to inform disability and rehabilitation policy and improve practice (Tingus et al., 2004).

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NCDDR is funded by the
National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)
Project Number: H133A060028
U.S. Department of Education