• Research Project Specialist
+1 612-624-0219
+1 612-625-6619
Masonic Institute on the Developing Brain
Rm 1-305Ba [map]
2025 E River Pkwy
MInneapolis, MN 55414

John G. Smith is a Research Specialist at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration, where he translates complex research and policy data into actionable information that supports people with intellectual disabilities to take greater control of their lives. His work in knowledge translation includes developing content for Self-Advocacy Online, a website providing useful and accessible information for self-advocates. He is also involved in policy and program evaluation, research on self-determination, and measuring outcomes of home and community-based services. John assisted in developing and evaluating a self-determination training curricula for direct support professionals and led an independent evaluation of the Region 10 Quality Assurance Initiative in Minnesota, an alternative licensing system focused on the quality of supports provided based on outcomes determined by individuals with disabilities rather than minimal licensing requirements.  Prior to joining ICI in 1992, John worked in providing direct support and disability advocacy for 10 years. He earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation from Minnesota State University - Mankato.  John was a recipient of the Access Press Charlie Smith Award for his accomplishments in supporting the self-advocacy movement in Minnesota, and the Rose and Jay Phillips Award for his success in employment and leadership in the community.  



Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on HCBS Outcome Measurement (RTC-OM)

Evaluates measures of the quality of life experienced by people with disabilities as a result of receiving services and supports. Past measures tended to focus on money spent on services for …


Research and Training Center on Community Living (RTC-CL)

Conducts a wide range of research, training, and technical assistance and dissemination projects related to community supports under its center grant and related project funding. The RTC-CL is …


Reinventing Quality: A Biennial Conference on Person-Centered Supports

Showcases best practices in person-centered supports from across the nation. This conference is held every two years.


Direct Support Professionals and the COVID-19 Vaccine

This 11-minute webinar addresses COVID-19 vaccinations for direct support professionals. Topics include: The reasons why people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are more vulnerable …

Published: 2/24/2022

NCSET Information Brief: Teaching Social Skills

A brief outlining the importance of social skills education for youth with disabilities, identifying specific skills needed by youth, providing guidance for choosing and implementing social skills …

Published: October 2004

Self-Advocacy Online

A multimedia resource providing information important to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities that is accessible to all. The content is translated into understandable language …

Published: 2012-Present

An Independent Assessment of the Region 10 Quality Assurance Commission Voice Review Program

A report on the VOICE program, a person-centered quality assurance system that emphasizes self-determination created by the Region 10 Quality Assurance Commission in Southeast Minnesota.

Published: 2008

Through Asking the Right Questions... You Can Reach Your Destination

A pocket guide containing questions for families and persons with disabilities to ask as they interview residential service providers and decide which are best suited to meet their support needs.

Published: 1999

Policy Research Brief: Developments in Living Arrangements and Choice for Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

A brief examining how living arrangements and choice have changed for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) over the past 10 years. Choice is an important component of self …

Published: 2018

Impact: 35th Anniversary Edition

Impact celebrates 35 years as a research-to-practice guide for the field of intellectual, developmental, and other disabilities. This issue in the Impact series features Amy Hewitt, director of …

Published: Spring 2023


  • Community life
    • Aging and retirement
    • Assistive/adaptive technology
    • Civil rights
    • Community supports and services
    • Person-centered planning and practices
    • Quality outcomes
    • Recreation and leisure
    • Self-advocacy and self-determination
    • Support coordination and case management
  • Specific life stage
    • Adolescents and young adults
    • Adults
    • Seniors
  • Housing and residential services
    • Community group residential
    • Consumer/self-directed services
    • Family supports/in-home services
    • Housing access
    • Institutions and deinstitutionalization
    • Medicaid services (residential)
  • Specific disability
    • Intellectual/developmental disability (IDD)
    • Multiple disabilities
    • Other health impairment
    • Physical disability


  • Research
  • Technical assistance
  • Evaluation
  • Dissemination
  • Outreach