The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University

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Current News and Events

2017 News

On October 23rd, we hosted a panel discussion moderated by Professor Eileen McNamara, Pulitzer Prize winner and former Boston Globe columnist, as part of the JFK Centennial Celebration. Titled "JFK and Another Civil Rights Movement: People with Intellectual Disabilities," the panel included: 

K. CHARLIE LAKIN director, Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on
Community Living, University of Minnesota
DEREK NORD director, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Indiana University
AMY ROBISON bakery clerk, Roche Bros., Inc.
DEBORAH SPITALNIK professor, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
SUE SWENSON president-elect, Inclusion International


Along with the University of Michigan's Department of Family Medicine, the Lurie Institute received a new grant to study perinatal care and pregnancy outcomes for women who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Learn more about this exciting new NIH grant.


In September, TheLurie Institute announced the launch of a new website. The National Research Center for Parents with Disabilities shares the results of our research and provides training and technical assistance to support parents with their disabilities and their families, and makes available research results and helpful information about working with parents with disabilities to social workers, researchers, and legal professionals. 


In September, we received a new grant from the Office of Minority Health (OMH), "Health Needs Assessment of People with Disabilities who are Racial, Ethnic, and Linguistic Minorities in the States of Rhode Island and Connecticut." We are currently conducting a health needs assessment of people with disabilities who are members of racial, ethnic and linguistic minority communities in Rhode Island (RI) and Connecticut (CT), using community forums, key informant interviews, analysis of existing survey data, and a community survey.


In September, The Lurie Institute hired a new post-doctoral fellow, Irina Cain, PhD


In August, 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?


In May, Research Associate, Robyn Powell, MA, JD, PhD Candidate, was 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.


In May, Senior Research Associate Ilhom Akobirshoev received a Brandeis University Provost Award for his project: Trends, Patterns, Quality, and Costs of Hospital Utilization among Working-age Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  The purpose of this study is to use population-based data to identify national trends, patterns, quality, and cost of hospital utilization among working-age adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The study will use data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample of the Health Care and Cost Utilization Project, which is the largest all-payer, publicly available US inpatient healthcare database.


In March, Monika Mitra, PhD, took over as Interim Director of the Institute. 


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