Kalvesmaki's research focuses on disability over a lifetime and the systems that support or thwart progress for persons with a variety of conditions. Overarching themes in Kalvesmaki's writing include systems thinking, the conceptualization of disorder, human optimization and improvement, and policy structures to support human development. She consults on hidden disabilities such as TBI, PTSD, anxiety, and other disorders, and on bringing individual lived experiences to bear in large-scale health research and policy development.
Describes the need to include "caregivers" as a unique social determinant of health in understanding the needs of persons receiving care.
Illustrates an interdisciplinary process to analyze a large body of qualitative data in response to a Request for Information on Veteran suicide. Discusses how results were used to inform a national public health strategy and campaign to reduce suicide for all citizens.
Takes a systems approach to understanding and addressing the School to Prison Pipeline, and offers strategies rooted in disability rights laws to support young people to have improved outcomes that keep them in school and out of juvenile systems.