The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University

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The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy

The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy

The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy is dedicated to improving the lives of people with autism and other disabilities across the lifespan through innovative social polices that foster inclusion into the mainstream of society. The Lurie Institute conducts research on disability policy in the United States with a special emphasis on autism, focusing on the lifespan of persons with disabilities and their families, and analyzing policy options for achieving the broadest integration of persons with disabilities into the mainstream of U.S. society, including their own voices in such analyses.

The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy was created with a generous gift from the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation. Through research, policy development, education, and public engagement, the Lurie Institute provides a comprehensive approach to addressing disability issues across the lifespan. Brandeis’ ongoing scientific research into developmental disabilities, including autism, also informs the Institute’s activities.


The mission of the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy is to promote inclusive and effective policies that improve the well-being of children and adults with disabilities and their caregiving families.



Lurie Lecture Invitation

The Lurie Institute is pleased to announce that Rosalind W. Picard, ScD, FIEEE was our featured speaker at this year's Annual Distinguished Lecture held on Tuesday, November 29th at 6pm in the Zinner Forum. Her lecture was titled, "Adventures in Developing Technology for Autism." Dr. Picard is the founder and director of the Affective Computing Research Group at the MIT Media Lab and the co-founder of Affectiva, Inc., and is also the co-founder and chief scientist at Empatica, Inc.

We are just thrilled to announce that we have received a $2.5 million grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) to create Parents Empowering Parents (PEP): A National Research Center on Parents with Disabilities and their Families. The center will support parents with disabilities, as well as those who engage with them, through research, training and tools, including a pair of web portals that will feature resources in both English and Spanish. You can read more about it in the Heller News

Immediate Employment Opportunity! The Lurie Institute is currently seeking a Program Coordinator to implement and manage substantive aspects of programs included in our new Parents Empowering Parents (PEP) research grant. This exciting new position will be an integral part of our research team! Please see the Job Description for more details. Interested individuals should send a cover letter and CV to Dr. Susan L. Parish at

Congratulations to Ellie Rosenthal for winning 3rd place at the Brandeis Innovation Showcase on November 17th! Ellie presented her poster "Preparing for the unfamiliar: An app for individuals with autism to prepare for doctor's visits."  

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