The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy

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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.

Ruderman Scholar Jennifer Lee share's her thoughts on her summer internship at Stavros on the RudermanFamily Foundation's blog.

The Lurie Institute's 4th Annual Distinguished Lecture was held on Wednesday, November 5th at 6pm.  This year, the featured speaker was Michael Stein, JD, PhD who is the co-founder and executive director of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability.  Dr. Stein spoke about "The Future of Disability Rights".  The lecture and reception that follows was once again held in the Zinner Forum at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management.

Susan Parish delivered the keynote presentation at the Coleman Institute National Conference on Cognitive Disability and Technology in Colorado on October 9th.  She will be discussing an Empirical Portrait of Families and Developmental Disabilities in the United States.

The Ruderman Social Justice in Disability Scholars Program continues to be featured in the press this fall.  Jennifer Lee's participation in the fellowship was highlighted in a November 12th article entitled "Jennifer Lee selected for Ruderman fellowship" inThe Republican. The October 28th Brandeis NOW features an article on the Ruderman Scholars commitment to improving the lives of people with disabilities.  The Justice presented an overview of the program and looked at the research the current cohort is exploring with Dr. Marji Erickson-Warfield.

Deanna Marion and Elizabeth Chalfin discuss their summer intern experiences as current scholars in The Ruderman Social Justice in Disability Scholars Program in the September 19th article featured in The Brandeis Hoot.

The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy was pleased to be a part of the celebration Heller at 55 - Achieving Equity of Access and Opportunity held September 12-14th.  Our workshop, Health Care for People with Disabilities in the Era of Health Reform, was moderated by Susan Parish, and featured presentations by panelists Sandy Magana PhD '99, Stephen Gulley PhD '06 and Gerben DeJong PhD '81.

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