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Research on Community Involvement and Experiences

Almost two years ago, ASAN announced the launch of the AASPIRE Gateway Project for research committed to inclusion, respect, accessibility, and community relevance. The AASPIRE Gateway Project has been recruiting participants with and without disabilities, and participants on the autism spectrum, for a series of continuing online studies on topics such as health care, Internet use, online sense of community, identity, problem solving, and perspective taking.

A currently ongoing AASPIRE Gateway study focuses on Internet use and well-being, including feelings about connecting with other people via the Internet and social support. AASPIRE expects to use the information learned to understand how involvement in online communities may benefit individuals.

To participate in the AASPIRE Internet Use, Community and Well-Being Study and any of the Gateway Project studies:

  1. Register online for a Gateway account starting at
  2. Take the online Gateway Survey. The survey takes about 20-40 minutes to complete.
  3. Wait for email messages about further studies. You may be eligible for some studies and not for others. You will only receive email messages for studies for which you are eligible.
  4. If you are eligible for the Internet Use, Community and Well-Being Study and decide to participate, it will take about 40 minutes to complete.
  5. After finishing each survey, you can enter a drawing that gives you a 1 in 15 chance to win a $25 gift certificate.

To learn more about the AASPIRE Internet Use, Community, & Well-Being Study or Gateway Project, you can:
Go to the AASPIRE Well-Being Study page at
Send an email to Dora Raymaker at
Make a telephone call to Dr. Christina Nicolaidis at 1-503-494-9602

OHSU IRB # 5568
Principal Investigators: Christina Nicolaidis, MD, MPH, Oregon Health & Science University
Katherine McDonald, PhD, Portland State University
Dora Raymaker, MS, Autistic Self Advocacy Network

In addition, ASAN is pleased to announce a new study by a team of researchers at the University of Michigan, who have developed a short snapshot survey of people with disabilities to ask them about their identities and their experiences.

To participate, go to:

Adena Rottenstein, an ASAN ally in the disability community, describes the survey as follows:

Your input will help us to better understand how people with disabilities view their lives and the society in which they live. Together, these surveys may lead to positive change for people with disabilities in a number of different ways. We appreciate you taking the time to participate in this important research effort, and please feel free to pass along this information to anyone you think may be interested!

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns at

You can also learn more about who we are and this project at the following website:

Thank you very much for your time and input!

~Adena Rottenstein, M.S.
Doctoral Candidate
University of Michigan

Lorraine Gutierrez, Ph.D.
Faculty Advisor
University of Michigan
Phone: (734) 936-9124

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