Ariel Schwartz is committed to advancing knowledge about the use of inclusive/participatory research approaches with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Throughout all of her research, she partners with individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities.

Her research is focused on participation and wellness for transition-age youth with intellectual/developmental disabilities. Recent research has addressed employment for transition-age youth with co-occurring mental health conditions and the development and testing of a peer mentoring intervention to address mental health self-management for transition-age youth. Her currently funded projects address training for peer mentors with intellectual/developmental disabilities and the development of accessible research ethics training that will support individuals with disabilities to take on a range of research roles. 

Dr. Schwartz has also contributed to the development of an accessible patient-reported outcome measure (the PEDI-PRO) for young adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities and co-developed a framework of cognitive accessibility for patient-reported outcome measures. She is currently evaluating the cognitive accessibility of the VIA Character Strengths Survey for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Dr. Schwartz’s research has been funded by NIDILRR and PCORI, in addition to a range of local and national foundations. She has also served as a Consultant, Engagement Coordinator, and Project Manager for multiple PCORI and NIH-funded studies.

In addition, Dr. Schwartz has clinical experience as an occupational therapist in inpatient mental health and community-based settings.

  • BA, Disability Studies/BA, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
  • MS, Occupational Therapy, Boston University, Boston, MA
  • PhD, Rehabilitation Sciences, Boston University, Boston, MA
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Boston, MA

Research Interests

  • Inclusive research/participatory action research
  • Transition to adulthood for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities
  • Mental health concerns of individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities
  • Patient-reported outcome measures

Schwartz, A. E., Rogers, E.S., & Russinova, Z. (2021). Predictors of community-based employment for young adults with intellectual disability and co-occurring mental health conditions. Disability & Rehabilitation. doi: 10.1080/09638288.2021.1907457

Schwartz, A. Kramer, J., & PEDI-PRO Youth Team. (2021). Inclusive approaches to developing content valid patient-reported outcome measure response scales for youth with intellectual/developmental disabilities. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 45, 100-110.

Schwartz, A.E., Young Adult Mental Health/Peer Mentoring Research Team, Kramer, J.M., Rogers, E.S., McDonald, K.E, & Cohn, E.S. (2020). Stakeholder-driven approach to developing a peer mentoring intervention for young adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities and co-occurring mental health conditions. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 33(5), 992-1004. doi: 10.1111/jar.12721

Schwartz, A. E., Kramer, J. M., Cohn, E., & McDonald, K. (2020). “That felt like real engagement”: Fostering and maintaining inclusive research collaborations with individuals with intellectual disability. Qualitative Health Research, 30(2), 236-249.

Schwartz, A. E., Kramer, J.M., & Longo, A. L. (2018). Patient-reported outcome measures for young people with developmental disabilities: Incorporation of design features to reduce cognitive demands. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 60(2), 173-184

Google Scholar