The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University

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News Archives 2014

The Lurie Institute's 4th Annual Distinguished Lecture was held on Wednesday, November 5th at 6pm. This year, the featured speaker was Michael Stein, JD, PhD, who is the co-founder and executive director of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability. Dr. Stein spoke about "The Future of Disability Rights."  A reception followed in the Zinner Forum at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management.

Susan Parish delivered the keynote presentation at the Coleman Institute National Conference on Cognitive Disability and Technology in Colorado on October 9th. She discussed an Empirical Portrait of Families and Developmental Disabilities in the United States.

The Ruderman Social Justice in Disability Scholars Program was featured this September in the press at Brandeis University. The Justice presented an overview of the program and looked at the research the current cohort is exploring with Dr. Marji Erickson Warfield.

Deanna Marion and Elizabeth Chalfin discussed their summer intern experiences as current scholars in The Ruderman Social Justice in Disability Scholars Program in the September 19th article featured in The Brandeis Hoot.

The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy was pleased to be a part of the celebration Heller at 55 - Achieving Equity of Access and Opportunity, held September 12-14th. Our workshop, "Health Care for People with Disabilities in the Era of Health Reform," was moderated by Susan Parish, and featured presentations by panelists Sandy Magana, PhD'99, Stephen Gulley, PhD'06 and Gerben DeJong, PhD'81.

The Lurie Institute was pleased to again host the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation's annual summer workshop. This year's event, Harnessing Technology to Improve the Lives of People with Autism, was held on Wednesday, July 23rd at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management. Featured speakers included Rosalind Picard, ScD, FIEEE; Elizabeth Torres, PhD; William Kiernan, PhD; Christine Ashby, PhD; and Matt Goodwin, PhD. A screening of the documentary "I Want to Say" was also part of the daylong event. 

Marji Erickson Warfield, PhD'91, was awarded a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health to study "The Impact of Parental Military Deployment on Children with Disabilities." This grant assessed the unstudied health care service utilization patterns among military members' children with significant disabilities, measured the impact of deployment on these utilization patterns and tested how aspects of the family environment influence the effect of deployment on utilization.

Susan Parish considered Is Ratifying The U.N. Convention On The Rights Of People With Disabilities Necessary For The U.S.? in a new posting on the blog Zeh Lezeh (For One Another).

Marji Erickson Warfield, director of the Starr Center, and Esther Son, Senior Research Associate for the Lurie Institute,  were awarded 2014 Deborah Munroe Noonan Memorial Research Grants! Marji's study, "Making Healthy Connections: What are the Long-Term Benefits?" assessed the extent to which the Making Healthy Connections program builds the personal assets and social capital of youth with disabilities and their families and facilitates their transition to adult roles. Esther's project was entitled "Understanding the health care experiences of Asian children with special health care needs on health care access, service utilization, and quality of care."

The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy selected the 2015 Ruderman Social Justice in Disability Scholars. Brandeis University juniors Jennifer Bromberg, Elizabeth Chalfin, Jennifer Lee and Deanna Marion were selected from a pool of very qualified applicants.

Susan Parish traveled to Athens, Greece in May to present a paper on Pregnancy Outcomes of Women with Developmental Disabilities at the Athens Institute for Education and Research 2nd Annual International Conference on Health & Medical Sciences.

 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." 

Susan Parish, Jay Ruderman and Ruderman Scholars Ruderman Scholars Danielle Sackstein and Ruth Zeilicovich 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 Sannicandro. 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 Representative Tom Sannicandro, Lurie Fellow, 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 colleagues have a new paper, "Healthcare Expenditures for Autism During Times of School Transition: Some Vulnerable Families Fall Behind," published in the February 2014 issue of Maternal and Child Health Journal.

Susan Parish was delighted to present at the First International Symposium on Cancer in Persons with Intellectual Disabilities which was held in Montpellier, France in February. Susan spoke about cervical cancer screening for women with intellectual disabilities, and about the Women Be Healthy studies.

The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy announced 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 Igdalsky

Lurie Institute Research Assistant Leah Igdalsky was appointed a Lurie Fellow, and collaborated with Danielle Sackstein and Ruth Zeilicovich, the new Ruderman Scholars.

Lurie Institute director Susan Parish presented a talk on Access to Cervical and Breast Cancer Screening for Women with Developmental Disabilities as part of the Harvard School of Public Health Maternal and Child Health Seminar series on January 29th.

Congratulations to Susan Parish, who has been selected to become the Heller School's next Associate Dean for Research. In this position, Susan worked with the Research Steering Committee to address current challenges facing research activities at the Heller School and served as the school's liaison with Brandeis University's office of research administration.

The National Research Council and Institute of Medicine of the National Academies' Committee on National Statistics  published a workshop summary of the Research Opportunities Concerning the Causes and Consequences of Child Food Insecurity and Hunger. Susan Parish was a member of the steering committee for the workshop.

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