As you begin your research you may not be completely sure what path your research should take. This is where background research can be very helpful. Background research is pre-research and reading. The goal is to learn enough about a topic or discipline to choose a topic or research question to explore in more depth.

Taking some time to do background research has many benefits.

  • You'll learn about major events, advancements, and disagreements in a field or discipline.
  • You'll discover new and specific keywords you can use for your database searches.
  • You'll uncover new directions to take your research.
  • You'll learn about major scholars and seminal works in the field.

Explore the resources on this page to get started with background research. If you're new to disability research, consider reading the Models of Disability and Accessibility Laws pages for additional background information.

Reference Databases

Disability Advocates

It's important for non-disabled people engaging in disability and accessibility research to listen to people with lived experience of disability. Below is a short list of Disability Advocates who talk about their experiences to get you started.

Books for Background Research