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 policies 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.



The Lurie Institute is delighted to announce the launch of a new website. The National Research Center for Parents with Disabilities will share the results of our research and provide training and technical assistance to support parents with their disabilities and their families, and make available research results and helpful information about working with parents with disabilities to social workers, researchers, and legal professionals. 

The Lurie Institute is pleased to announce an opening in our postdoctoral research training program in disability policy research.  Job Description can be found here. If you need more information, please email Assistant Director, Michelle Techler (

Research Assistant and Heller PhD student, Robbie Dembo, received an award from the Social Security Administration's (SSA's) Analyzing Relationships between Disability, Rehabilitation and Work (ARDRAW) Small Grant Program for his proposal titled The Great Recession and Unemployed People with Disabilities: Have the Barriers to Work Changed?

Research Associate, Robyn Powell, MA, JD, PhD Candidate, was recently selected to receive the American Public Health Association Disability Section Student Incentive Award. This award is given in recognition of an outstanding research abstract submitted for the 2017 APHA annual meeting.

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