The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University

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News Archives 2011

Lurie Institute Fellow Taletha Derrington presented a poster entitled "Drug-Exposed Infants and Part C Early Intervention: The Federal Referral Mandate and Service Engagement" at ZERO TO THREE's 26th National Training Institute Conference December 9-11, 2011, in Washington, D.C., and she presented a paper on "Development of a Drug-Exposed Infant Identification Algorithm and Its Application to Early Intervention Referral, Evaluation, and Eligibility" at the 17th Annual Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Conference, December 14-16, 2011, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

EBostic photoElizabeth Bostic presented a workshop on Special Education Rights and Advocacy, November 29th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. The goal of the workshop was to help parents and advocates better understand what they need to know to effectively advocate for their child or client.  Ms. Bostic is a Client Project Manager at the Global Novations, Inc., in Boston, where she is responsible for ensuring quality implementation of large-scale diversity and inclusion design, training and consulting initiatives for clients. In addition, she is the founder of The Parent Coach, which offers special needs advocacy and consulting services to parents. Beth is the mother of two children with special needs. She is an active board member of The Arc of Massachusetts and CLASS, Inc., and a Family Advisory Committee Member of the Arc of Greater Lawrence. This event was co-sponsored by The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy and the Arc of Massachusetts.

Susan L. Parish, director of the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy, and James M. Perrin, professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, co-authored "Cutting SSI Would Only Hurt Children," an op-ed that ran in the October 27, 2011, online edition of USA Today.  The piece coincided with a hearing on the Children's SSI program held by a subcommittee of the House Ways & Means Committee. Part of the op-ed was read aloud by by Rep. Lloyd Doggett during this hearing, and the entire op-ed was entered into the Congressional Record.

The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy Annual Report for the year ending June 30, 2011, is now available.

photo of Pres. Lawrence and Mrs. Marks photo of Marsha Seltzer The Inaugural Lurie Institute Distinguished Lecture in Disability Policy was held on September 19, 2011, in honor of Mrs. Nancy Lurie Marks to recognize her generosity and commitment to improving the quality of life for individuals with autism. Marsha Mailick Seltzer, Ph.D. '78, Director of the Waisman Center, was the Keynote Speaker at the Inaugural Lecture.  Dr. Seltzer spoke on the “Psychosocial and Biological Markers of Stress in Mothers of Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

photo of esther sonLurie Institute Postdoctoral Fellow Esther Son, PhD, presented her research on the prevalence of bullying among young children with disabilities at the Annual Program Meeting of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in October, 2011.

The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy welcomed the first two Lurie Institute post-doctoral fellows. Dr. Esther Son joined the center in August, 2011. She earned her PhD from Rutgers University School of Social Work. The title of her dissertation was “Peer Victimization of Children with Disabilities: Examining Prevalence and Early Risk and Protective Factors among a National Sample of Children Receiving Special Education Services.” Dr. Son’s research interests have focused on the enhancement of the health and well-being of children and adults with disabilities and their families. In particular, she is interested in the school adjustment and social inclusion of children with developmental disabilities, including autism, and children’s, families’, and teachers’ attitudes toward children with disabilities and their caregiving families. 

Dr. Subharati Ghosh joined the Lurie Institute in September, 2011. She earned her PhD from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, School of Social Work. The title of Dr. Ghosh’s dissertation was “Caregiver adaptation to multiple caregiving roles: as a spouse and a parent.” Her research interests are focused on exploring the life course impacts of parenting a child with severe mental illness and developmental disability.

New research from the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy found gains in cervical and breast cancer screening knowledge of women with developmental disabilities following their participation in Women Be Healthy. This study was a randomized control trial of women with developmental disabilities living in community settings across North Carolina. Women in the experimental group gained knowledge related to breast cancer screenings, but had few gains related to cervical cancer screenings. Previous research has found that women with developmental disabilities have abysmal rates of receiving needed cervical and breast cancer screening. Interventions to promote access to these screenings are critically needed, and this study reports modest success related to a necessary first step: improving women's knowledge of cancer and these screenings. The paper is now available via Sage's Online First resource for the journal Research on Social Work Practice,  (Please link to the paper at or contact us for a copy of the paper.)

Walter Leutz and Marji Erickson Warfield presented in July 2011 on "A Helping Hand Project."

On June 29th, 2011, Susan Parish was an invited speaker at the International Conference on Disability Policy sponsored by the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, and the Research on Economy and Disability (READ) project at the University of Tokyo.

Susan Parish won the Heller Teaching Award on April 14, 2011 - More 

The Lurie Institute announced a new Postdoctoral Research Training Program in Disability Policy - More

Peter Bearman The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy, along with the Department of Sociology and the Martin Weiner Fund, sponsored a lecture on March 24, 2011, by Peter Bearman. Dr. Bearman, the Jonathan Cole Professor of the Social Sciences and the Director of the Lazarsfeld Center for the Social Sciences at Columbia University, gave a fascinating and comprehensive seminar in which he discussed his work in understanding the causes that are driving the increasing prevalence of autism in the United States.

Cultural Proficiency in Education: A Review of the Literature Focused on Teachers, School Leaders, and Schools, authored by Lurie doctoral student Cady Landa, was published in January 2011 by the Mauricio Gaston Center for Latino Community Development and Public Policy at UMASS-Boston.

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