Heike Boeltzig, PhD
is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) and adjunct faculty at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies at UMass Boston. Her key research interests are disability, employment, and information and communication technology. At the ICI, Dr. Boeltzig has been directing research activities under the Vocational Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (VR-RRTC) that is jointly funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) and the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). Activities have included: a systematic review and synthesis of research on the public VR program spanning 1970 to 2008; a national survey of state VR agencies; and case study research on effective state VR agency practices. She is implementing a national survey of community rehabilitation providers funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities and NIDRR/RSA. Dr. Boeltzig is also a lead researcher on the Rehabilitation and Technical Assistance Center (RTAC) on VR Program Management funded by NIDRR. She has conducted several program evaluations, using a range of evaluation approaches and mixed methodologies.
Cross-national comparative research into disability is another area of great interest to Dr. Boeltzig. Most recently, she and her colleagues from City University London in the UK won a grant from the IBM Center for the Business of Government to conduct a systematic review of research on effective strategies to serve people with disabilities and health issues through the public employment service system in the US and the UK. Before joining the ICI, Dr. Boeltzig worked as a researcher at the Center for Comparative Research in Social Welfare at the University of Stirling in Scotland, conducting cross-national research on disability and employment. There she participated, for example, as a lead researcher on German disability and employment policy in a 13-country comparative research study. Funded by the European Commission, the study explored alternative legal definitions of disability, stemming from the regulations governing the cross-border claiming of social security benefits and access to welfare services in Europe. She holds a doctorate in public policy from UMass Boston and a master's degree in applied social research from the University of Stirling, Scotland.