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Hannah Rudstam

Hannah Rudstam

Extension Faculty
Address: 203 Dolgen Hall Phone: (607) 255-2768
  Cornell University Fax: (607) 255-2763
  Ithaca, NY 14853 Email:

Ms. Rudstam's interests revolve around finding new ways to reach employers about disability and employment issues. Since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 15 years ago, a significant body of training on the ADA has developed in both the private and the public sector. The emphasis of this training effort has, understandably, been to disseminate information on the ADA with the aim of enhancing compliance. But research has shown that, though the ADA has had some impact on issues such as accessibility to built environments, its power in impacting the economic life conditions and employment rates of people with disabilities has been limited.

Making inroads into improving the work life and economic conditions of people with disabilities necessitates moving beyond program models and learning methods that are based on a simple, one-way dissemination of information. New and different methods for reaching employers must be developed that are based on a deeper understanding of everyday workplace culture and of how employers actually make decisions that profoundly impact the work lives of people with disabilities, such as hiring, promotion, development or termination.

Ms. Rudstam's work revolves around finding new program approaches to employment and disability training programs that capture this deeper understanding and that replace simple information dissemination with a more participative, consultative framework. She would like to base these new program approaches on research on “successful” workplaces--workplaces where the talents and contributions of employees with disabilities are fully engaged. These elements of best practice can then provide the basis for developing more powerful organizational interventions.


Ph.D. - University of Wisconsin, Adult Learning: Program Planning & Evaluation
M.S. - University of Wisconsin, Educational Policy
B.S. - University of Wisconsin, Psychology & Anthropology