The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy

The Heller School for Social Policy and ManagementReturn to this website's homepageBrandeis University

Flash Movie

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.

The Lurie Institute is delight to announce that Lurie Fellow, Leah Igdalsky was selected by the Brandeis University 2014 Committee on Prizes and Awards as a winner of this year's Katherine A.
Chernosky Memorial Award for Conscientious and Creative Living. This award is given "To an individual whose manner of living embodies mature, conscientious dedication to duty, family and friends". Congrats to Leah!!

Susan Parish, Jay Ruderman and Ruderman Scholars

Ruderman Scholars Sackstein and Zeilocovich met with Jay Ruderman to discuss their work with Susan Parish developing an intervention to promote the health of women with intellectual disabilities.

The Lurie Institute and Advocates, Inc. were pleased to co-host a luncheon for families of children with disabilities and legislators on March 8th. The guest speakers were Rosalie Edes, the Assistant Secretary for Disability Policy of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and Representatives Denise Garlick and Tom Stannic. It was a wonderful opportunity for the policymakers to hear from families about the issues most important in their sons’ and daughters’ lives, as well as for families to hear some of the challenges our representatives face.

The Lurie Institute was proud to co-sponsor "Spread the Word to End the Word" with Brandeis University's Waltham Group.  The event, organized by Lurie Institute Fellow, Leah Igdalsky, included an opportunity for members of the Brandeis community to sign a pledge to stop using the "r-word". The closing event on March 6th featured Lurie Fellow, Representative Tom Stannic speaking about his work to change DMR to DDS, self-advocates sharing their stories, and a short film festival.  Films shown included GWArc's "Our Question", Sproutflix Films' "One Question" and "Close My Eyes" and A Spread the Word PSA "I am a Person".  The event was recently featured in articles in both The Brandeis HOOT and  The Justice. Congratulations and thank you, Leah, for bringing this important event to Brandeis!

Susan Parish and collegues have a new paper, "Healthcare Expenditures for Autism During Times of School Transition: Some Vulnerable Families Fall Behind" published in the  issue of Maternal and Child Health Journal.

The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy is pleased to announce the selection of the 2014 Inaugural Ruderman Social Justice in Disability Scholars.  Brandeis University seniors Danielle Sackstein and Ruth Zeilicovich began their research assistantship with Susan Parish, director for the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy, on February 1st.  The Ruderman Social Justice in Disability Scholars Program was established in 2013 through the generosity of the Ruderman Family Foundation and is an opportunity for Brandeis undergraduates with an interest in disability issues to expand their knowledge and experience in the field.

Danielle Sackstein Ruth Zeilicovich and Leah IgdalskyLurie Institute Research Assistant Leah Igdalsky has recently been appointed a Lurie Fellow, and will collaborate with Danielle Sackstein and Ruth Zeilicovich, the new Ruderman Scholars.


Copyright 2014 • Brandeis University • All rights are reserved