Start with Yourself: A Dissemination Self-Inventory

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Woman seeks her own image in the mirror.January 2011

There’s an art and science to effective dissemination—and a heart and soul, too. These aspects are apparent in the Dissemination Self-Inventory developed by the National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research (NCDDR). We strongly recommend that groups involved in dissemination take  NCDDR’s inventory. Doing so will help you:

  • look mindfully at your own dissemination efforts;
  • identify your dissemination strengths and weaknesses;
  • gain a fuller awareness of the different elements involved in effective dissemination; and
  • develop a strong dissemination plan, or revise and expand the one you already have.

About NCDDR’s Dissemination Self-Inventory

The self-inventory is a tool that has emerged from NCDDR’s extensive research into effective dissemination strategies. It was originally developed in 1998 and revised in January 2002. It’s gone from an attractive print version you filled out by hand to an online series of questions where your answers are automatically tallied and you’re given a “dissemination score.” We’ll tell you where to go online to take the inventory in a moment.

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Relevancy of the Self-Inventory—and Limitations

The self-inventory was originally developed as a planning tool to improve the dissemination efforts of projects funded by NIDRR (the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, at the U.S. Department of Education). NIDRR-funded projects focus on conducting disability research and development, with the end goal of improving the lives of individuals with disabilities. At the time the inventory was developed, the outcomes of these projects’ research and development work were not finding their way into actual use.

Enter the self-inventory, as a vehicle for helping projects bridge the gap between research and use. As such, the inventory is divided into several sections. Each section has a different focus and purpose. If you’re a NIDRR-funded project, then taking the entire self-inventory is highly relevant to your work. However, if you’re not a NIDRR-funded research project, the self-inventory has only one section that is highly relevant to you as a disseminator.

That is the section we’re going to focus upon here—Section 3, the Dissemination Plan.

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Where’s the Self-Inventory?

Rather than re-create the inventory here on NICHCY’s website, we’re going to direct you to NCDDR, where the inventory is posted and ready for the taking.

Screen shot of the webpage at NCDDR.

Here’s a heads-up: As mentioned, the inventory has several sections. Each section is marked with the word “incomplete” in yellow. When you complete a section, the word changes to “complete.”

You can take the entire self-inventory if you like. But we think you’ll find Section 3 the most relevant since it focuses on creating an effective dissemination plan.

OK, here’s the address. Have fun (it’s actually interesting). The link below will open in a new window, so this one will be left open, making it easy to come back here for more discussion when you’re done.
http://www.ncddr.org/cgi-bin/selfinventory.cgi

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Done? Great! Let’s Debrief

Did you take Section 3 of the self-inventory? We hope so. The questions were expressly created to target the four basic elements of dissemination:

  • the intended users;
  • the dissemination source;
  • the content to be disseminated; and
  • the dissemination media used for specific audiences.

In the next part of these Dissemination pages, we’re going to look more closely at each of these elements, using actual questions from the Self-Inventory as the springboard for discussion. Interested? Let’s go then! Onward, to:

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NOTICE: NICHCY is going away, but its resources are not. Find hundreds of legacy NICHCY publications, as well as our training curriculum on IDEA 2004, in the Center for Parent Information and Resources' Library at http://www.parentcenterhub.org/resources. This website will remain available until September 30, 2014. After that date, web visitors will be automatically redirected to http://www.parentcenterhub.org.