Robyn Michelle Powell


Robyn Michelle Powell's photo


Office: Heller-Brown Building 366
Phone: 781 736-5328
Brandeis Directory


  • HSSP 128a - Disability Policy


  • Suffolk University
  • Bridgewater State University

Robyn Michelle Powell



Robyn M. Powell, JD. has worked in the field of disability law and policy for more than a decade. Ms. Powell has extensive knowledge of disability laws and regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Rehabilitation Act, Fair Housing Act, and the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act. Ms. Powell also has vast experience working in a variety of public policy areas, such as parenting rights, transportation, emergency management, international disability rights, employment, vocational rehabilitation, housing, public accommodations, special education, government benefits, and health care. As a disabled woman, Ms. Powell has dedicated her career to advancing the rights of people with disabilities. Most recently, Ms. Powell served as an Attorney Advisor at the National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent federal agency that advises the President and Congress on matters concerning people with disabilities. Ms. Powell is currently completing her PhD at the Heller School.


  • Powell, R.M., Mitra, M., Smeltzer, S.C., Long-Bellil, L.M., Smith, L.D., & Iezzoni, L.I.. "Family attitudes and reactions towards pregnancy among women with physical disabilities." Women's Health Issues (2017). (forthcoming)
  • Parish, S.L., Son, E. Powell, R.M., & Igdalsky, L.. "Reproductive cancer treatment hospitalizations of US women with intellectual and developmental disabilities." Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities (2016). (forthcoming)
  • Powell, R.M. & Parish, S.L.. "Behavioural and cognitive outcomes in young children of mothers with intellectual impairments." Journal of Intellectual Disability Research (2016). (forthcoming)
  • Powell, R.M., Parish, S.L., & Akobirshoev, I.. "The health and economic wellbeing of US mothers with intellectual impairments." Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities (2016). (forthcoming)
  • Powell, R.M.. "Safeguarding the rights of parents with intellectual disabilities in child welfare cases: The convergence of social science and law." CUNY Law Review (2016). (forthcoming)
  • Sannicandro, T., Parish, S.L., Son, E., & Powell, R.M.. "Health care changes for children with special health care needs, 2005-2011." Maternal and Child Health Journal (2016). (forthcoming)
  • Powell, R.M. & Stein, M.A.. "Persons with disabilities and their sexual, reproductive, and parenting rights: An international comparative analysis." Frontiers of Law in China 11. 1 (2016): 53-85.
  • Powell, R.M., Parish. S.L., & Akobirshoev, I.. "Health of young children whose mothers have intellectual disabilities." American Journal on Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities 121. 4 (2016): 281-294.
  • Powell, R.M.. "Federal agency shines light on parents with disabilities and their children." CW360° 9. (2016): 26.
  • Swaine, J.G., Parish, S.L., Igdalsky, L., & Powell, R.M.. "Consumers’ and workers’ perspectives about consumer-directed services in the United States." Disability and Health Journal 9. 3 (2016): 464-471.
  • Powell, R.M.. "Federal agencies say state cannot discriminate against parents with disabilities." Child Law Practice 34. 3 (2015): 46-47.
  • Powell, R.M.. "Can parents lose custody simply because they are disabled?." GPSolo 31. 2 (2014): 14-17.
  • Powell, R.M.. "From the delivery room to the courtroom: Ensuring the rights of parents with disabilities." Health Law Reporter (2014).
  • Powell, R.M. & Heaphy, D.. "Civil rights, disability, and health care: Why doesn’t anyone care?." Health Law Reporter 5. 1 (2009): 24-28.

Awards and Honors

  • Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award, American Association of People with Disabilities (2016)
  • Stevens-Shapiro Memorial Fellowship, International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (2016)
  • Frederick J. Krause Scholarship on Health and Disability, American Association on Health and Disability (2015)
  • Leo J. Wyman Memorial Fund Award, Suffolk University Law School (2007)