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.

Please join us on June 29th at 12noon, for a colloquium featuring Sarah Dababnah, PhD, from University of Maryland. Dr. Dababnah will present "Parent-Reported Barriers to Services for Children with Autism in the West Bank" in room G3 of The Heller School. Lunch will be served. RSVP to Leah Igdalsky at by 6/24 if you plan to attend.

The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy is delighted to announce the selection of the 2016 Ruderman Social Justice Scholars in Disability Policy.  This year’s Scholars are: Ruthann Hewett ‘16, Melanie Gomes ‘16, Kathryn Semerau ‘17, and

Kim Zayhowski ‘16.  Congratulations!

The critically acclaimed movie, Anita, was presented by the Lurie Institute on March 31st.  This film is about a remarkable young women with Down Syndrome whose life was tragically disrupted by the1994 bombings of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association.   A panel discussion about Down Syndrome followed the presentation of the film.

Congratulations to Lurie Institute's Research Associate, Leah Igdalsky, who was named to The Arc's Committee on Diversity!

The Lurie Insititute was delighted to co-sponsor Brandeis Buddies "Spread the Word"  Coffeehouse on March 5th.  It was was a night of slam poetry, speakers, a cappella, and more!  The performances centered on raising awareness for ending use of the R-Word, as well as general sensitivity for people with developmental disabilities and the stereotypes that cloud them in society.  The event was featured in a recent article in the The Brandeis Hoot.

Susan Parish traveled to Northern Ireland to present a talk on Family Caregiving for Children and Adults with Intellectual Disabilities in the United States at Queens University in Belfast on February 25th.

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