The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University

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News and Events

The Lurie Institute is pleased to announce that Rosalind W. Picard, ScD, FIEEE will be the featured speaker at this year's Annual Distinguished Lecture held on Tuesday, November 29th at 6pm in the Zinner Forum. Her lecture is titled, "Adventures in Developing Technology for Autism," and it will be followed by a reception. Dr. Picard is the founder and director of the Affective Computing Research Group at the MIT Media Lab and the co-founder of Affectiva, Inc., a provider of technology used worldwide to help measure and communicate emotion. She is also the co-founder and chief scientist at Empatica Inc., a firm dedicated to improving lives with clinical quality wearable sensors and analytics.  Picard is the author of more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific articles, is known internationally for her book "Affective Computing" and is an active inventor with nearly two dozen patents.

Please RSVP to or 781-736-3799 by November 14th

We are just thrilled to announce that we have received a $2.5 million grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) to create Parents Empowering Parents (PEP): A National Research Center on Parents with Disabilities and their Families. The center will support parents with disabilities, as well as those who engage with them, through research, training and tools, including a pair of web portals that will feature resources in both English and Spanish. You can read more about it in the Heller News.

Brandeis NOW features the Lurie Institute's work to support caregivers in advocating for important health screenings for women with disabilities. Check out our new short videos discussed in the article.

We wish long time Lurie Research Associate, Leah Igdalsky '14, best wishes as she pursues her studies at Boston College's School of Social Work this fall. She will be missed!Parish and Igdalsky photo(Leah Igdalsky '14 & Susan Parish)

Congratulations to the Lurie Institute's Rajan Sonik, Susan Parish, Subha Ghosh and Leah Igdalsky on their new paper, "Food Insecurity in U.S. Households That Include Children With Disabilities," published in Exceptional Children.  Their work suggests that children with disabilities face an increased risk of experiencing food insecurity and that there is a pressing need to improve the safety net system for them.

Kudos to Lurie Institute's Robyn Powell for her thoughtful response to a recent article in Pediatrics. Check out her comment, reminding all that disabled adolescents deserve the same care, respect and access to sexual and reproductive health services as non-disabled adolescents. "Sterilization as a means to control menstruation and prevent sexual abuse must be explicitly condemned by all professional organizations."…/1/e20160295.comments

We are pleased to announce that Professor Monika Mitra was awarded a Brandeis University's Provost Award to study Violence Victimization against People who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing.  Dr. Mitra's team will include Senior Scientist, Dr. Ilhom Akobirshoev, and Research Associate, Robyn Powell. 

The Lurie Institute is delighted to announce the selection of the 2017 Ruderman Social Justice in Disability Scholars. Next year's Scholars will be Samantha Doonan '17, Shayna Korol '17, Leah Levine '17, Kekoa Lopez '16 (mid-year graduate), and Nicole Wengrofsky '18. These five students were selected from an extremely strong pool of applicants. Congratulations to all!  

The Harvard Law School Project on Disability joined us in presenting Arie Rimmerman on April 6th at 12:15pm at the Heller School. Dr. Rimmerman is the Richard Crossman Professor of Social Welfare and Social Planning and founder Dean of Social Welfare and Health Sciences and head of the School of Social Work at University of Haifa, Israel. His research focuses on comparative disability policies, particularly in areas of employment, civic society and family support. Dr. Rimmerman discussed his forthcoming book "Disability and Community Living Policies" by Cambridge University Press.

The Lurie Institute presented Sara Rosenbaum on Thursday, March 10th at 12:15pm. Dr. Rosenbaum is currently with George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health. She has devoted her 40-year career to issues of health justice for populations who are medically underserved as a result of race, poverty, disability, or cultural exclusion.

Congratulations to Robyn Powell for winning a 2016 AAPD Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award.  Robyn was given this prestigious award in recognition of her work as an emerging leader and dedication to the disability community.

The Lurie Institute is pleased to note that the Winter 2016 Heller Magazine features the work of Susan Parish and her team  entitled "At the Intersection of Race and Disability." interviewed Lurie Research Assistant and Heller PhD student, Rajan Sonik about his research examining how Inpatient Medicaid Costs Dropped With Increased SNAP Benefits. This article, posted on January 29, 2016, is part of their series of weekly interviews with medical researchers.

Susan Parish presented an RRTC webinar topic of Pregnancy Outcomes of Women with Developmental Disabilities on January 21, 2106.

Monika Mitra work examining health disparities among women was featured in the January 3, 2016  edition of the Providence Journal. Dr. Mitra found that women with disabilities receive less medical care and are more likely to experience adverse birth outcomes than typical women.

Lurie Research Assistant and Heller PhD student, Robyn Powell, was one of only three recipients selected to receive the 2015-16 AAHD Frederick J. Krause Scholarship on Health and Disability.

We are delighted to announce that the Lurie Institute has been awarded a grant from the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation Self Advocacy and Family Initiative. This funding will support the development of a global initiative to empower young people to make inclusive education a reality for children with disabilities.

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