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.

The Lurie Institute is thrilled to announce that it has received a five-year grant to support its disability policy postdoctoral research fellowship program. This new funding is from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. Fellows will work on the intersections of disability and health.

The efforts of Marji Erickson Warfield, director of the Nathan and Toby Starr on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and former Lurie Institute fellow, Morgan Crossman,PhD '15, to improve primary care for adults with autism is featured on the Heller School's website new page highlighting work being done at Heller to advance health equity.  

Susan Parish, director of the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy, spoke with BrandeisNOW this month about The Americans with Disabilities Act: 25 years later.

The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy is pleased to announce that Lurie Research Assistant, Ilhom Akobirshoev, has successfully defended his dissertation, "The Impact of Parental Health Insurance on Health Outcomes and Health Care Utilization for Insured Children".  We are delighted to report that Dr. Akobirshoev will remain with the Institute, as he has been selected as one of our post-doctoral fellows. Congratulations Dr. Akobirshoev!

Sarah Dababnah, PhD, from University of Maryland presented  "Parent-Reported Barriers to Services for Children with Autism in the West Bank" on June 29th at the Heller School.

Melanie Gomes ‘16, Ruthann Hewett ‘16, Kathryn Semerau ‘17, and Kim Zayhowski ‘16 have been selected as the 2016 Ruderman Social Justice Scholars in Disability Policy. Congratulations All!

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