National Center for the
Dissemination of Disability Research

NCDDR's Task Force Papers

The NCDDR has established three task forces to assist the project in analyzing, understanding, and commenting on features of the evidence production process within the disability and rehabilitation research context. The task forces are comprised of senior researchers with current or recent experience in conducting NIDRR-sponsored research. Each task force is charged with developing positions and statements that are relevant in light of the current emphasis on evidence-based practice.

The products of the task forces will be shared with a variety of interested stakeholders and housed on the NCDDR's website.


When the Best is the Enemy of the Good: The Nature of Research Evidence Used in Systematic Reviews and Guidelines was developed in August, 2009, by the Task Force on Systematic Review and Guidelines. This task force paper explores critical issues related to the "gold standard" for research designs, the emergence of systematic reviews, and implications for evidence-based rehabilitation and clinical practice.

Dijkers, M. P. J. M. for the NCDDR Task Force on Systematic Review and Guidelines. (2009). When the best is the enemy of the good: The nature of research evidence used in systematic reviews and guidelines. Austin, TX: SEDL.


The Challenge of Evidence in Disability and Rehabilitation Research and Practice: A Position Paper was developed in November, 2009, by the NCDDR's Task Force on Standards of Evidence and Methods. This task force position paper focuses on evidence for interventions in the field of disability and rehabilitation (D&R). The document's specific objectives are to clarify what is meant by the term evidence and to describe the nature of the contemporary systems used to identify and evaluate evidence in intervention research; to identify the challenges in meeting contemporary standards of evidence in the field of D&R interventions and to propose next steps for examining related issues and for taking action to promote the availability of evidence-based services and information in the field of D&R interventions.

Johnston, M. V., Vanderheiden, G. C., Farkas, M. D., Rogers, E. S., Summers, J. A., & Westbrook, J. D., for the NCDDR Task Force on Standards of Evidence and Methods. (2009). The challenge of evidence in disability and rehabilitation research and practice: A position paper. Austin, TX: SEDL.

Guidelines for Assessing the Quality and Applicability of Systematic Reviews are available for your use. Development of these Guidelines was a project of the Task Force on Systematic Reviews and Guidelines. Initial drafts were presented by the Task Force at the NARRTC and ACRM conferences in 2010, and a final version is now available.

Task Force on Systematic Review and Guidelines. (2011). Guidelines for assessing the quality and applicability of systematic reviews. Austin, TX: SEDL, National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research. Retrieved from

About SEDL | Contact SEDL | SEDL store

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