Research Methodology

  1. Literature Review
  2. Power Mapping
  3. Interview Construction
  4. Cold Calling
  5. Data Coding
  6. Data and Results

Literature Review

The first and most basic step of our project was to perform a literature review across four major topics with which our research would primarily be concerned. Our intentions were to bridge the gap in our understanding of adaptive sports and fitness and to discern the services, challenges and points of interest pertaining to Oak Hill in relation to our research. The four topics we cover in our literature review are 1. Physical and Psychological Benefits, the purview of which is the rationale supporting physical fitness programs as a method of improving physical and psychological wellbeing, 2. Perceived and Actual Barriers to Physical Fitness, which encompasses the barriers faced by individuals with disabilities, 3. Innovative and Opinion Leading Organizations, which applies a theoretical framework to our research’s intentions for Oak Hill and delves in to potential programmatic solutions, and 4. Messaging and Engagement, which speaks to the potential methods of forming connections to community partners for Oak Hill.

Power Mapping

Using Hartford as a backdrop, it was well understood the wealth of resources that were available to us— from nursing homes, healthcare facilities, gyms and other related organizations. With such a variety of sources, it was essential to be efficient and concise when choosing which potential relationships to pursue and turn our focus towards.

Power mapping is a precise visual tool we used to identify the individuals best suited to commence a relationship with Oak Hill Adaptive Sports & Fitness Center in order to improve the lives of people with disabilities through adaptive sports and fitness programs. We carefully tailored the map below to compare the relative power of each organization and entity (OAE) to affect change and to reflect their own standing within the realm of adaptive sports and fitness. For example, an OAE with very little knowledge of adaptive sports and fitness methods and with relatively low social or political capital would generally receive a lower power score. The relative power of each OAE is reflected in the Y-axis of the visual.

We also compared the relative engagement of each OAE, meaning their willingness to commence in a partnership with Oak Hill based upon current understanding of their knowledge and activity associated with the realm of adaptive sports and fitness. For example, an OAE with very limited knowledge of adaptive sports and fitness (or of disabilities in general), or a historical lack of involvement with activist partners would generally receive a lower engagement score. The relative engagement of each OAE is reflected on the X-axis of the visual. 

Overall, OAEs with high power and engagement scores would be placed towards the top right of the visual.

Oak Hill Potential Community Partners Power Mapping Exercise
Power Mapping for Potential Partner Entities for Oak Hill:  Partners were sorted into five categories and color coded: Purple-People, Pink-Gyms, Blue-Target Groups*, Green-Charity/Healthcare Organizations, Yellow-Nursing Homes. *Target groups refer to specific organizations that were prioritized by Oak Hill, such as YMCA’s and JCC’s


Interview Construction

Our interviews served the purpose as a guiding template for our interactions with the most promising OAEs identified in the Power Mapping process. Our team decided to pursue engagement opportunities with four of the five sectors: Gyms, Nursing Homes, Healthcare Facilities/Charity Organizations, and Target Groups. Given the time and resource limitations of our project, our teem established that pursuing engagement with political figures listed in the People sector of the power map were not within our capabilities; however, this does not mean they should be discounted as an important resource in expanding the visibility of Oak Hill and increasing access  to adaptive sports and fitness. The steps of our interview process are as follows:

  1. Ensuring we were speaking with the proper representative- We first would ask whether or not there is a manager or other director who could best speak about accommodating disabled clients
  2. Introduction- our introduction was a prepared statement which briefly outlined the intentions of our call and who we represented as student researchers
  3. Cater Towards the Caller- Since we were conducting interviews in different sectors ranging from nursing homes to fitness centers, we made sure to curate our questions specifically to the type of OAE we were engaging with.
  4. Follow-Up Questions- Our essential questions for each sector were outlined with follow-up questions in the format of “If yes/no, then…?”
  5. Conclusion- After collecting our data from the OAE, we would then finalize the call by asking whether they were able to commit to learning more about the opportunities offered through engagement with Oak Hill Adaptive Sports & Fitness Center

You can view the template questionnaires prepared by our team at the following link:

Cold Calling

Cold calling is a well established technique which we chose to use as our sampling method for this study since its numerous benefits favored our project very well. Cold calling allows interviewers to both operate within the empirical reliability of a prepared script, and to have freedom to navigate between topics and form a human connection. Additionally, our team confronted the reality of our situation in that we were operating within the confines of a global pandemic and as a result had limited resources and time. Cold calling once again is an extremely efficient (most calls range from 5-10 minutes), and Covid-safe method of obtaining our data. 

Given the analysis of our power mapping practice and identification of leading organizations in each sector,  we then retrieved publicly available contact information, and compiled this contact list in a metadata spreadsheet. Calls were made ideally from the morning till noon time, as this is quite often the best time for generating positive feedback in our partners (Danziger, Leva and Avnaim-Pesso. 2011.).

Data Coding

This simple codification method of the data we obtained from our cold calls is an excellent way to further sort our results into categories that can be easily visualized and analyzed. The data was tagged by response type which covered these categories: Positive Responses, Negative Responses, Maybe Responses, Voicemail Responses, Call-back Pending Responses, No Response, and Email Response. This codified data can be found on the Data and Results page, Here.

Data and Results

In total, 27 organizations in and around Hartford were called. Of the 27,  6 yielded positive partnership results,  3 declined potential partnerships, and 14 were non-responsive, or the responses did not yield substance. The positive responses were passed on to Oak Hill, in hopes that partnerships will occur in the future. These calls were all done with the underlying goal of expanding Oak Hill’s clientele and increasing their exposure levels around Connecticut.

Data & Results

Deprecated: Directive 'allow_url_include' is deprecated in Unknown on line 0