The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy at Brandeis University’s Heller School leads research that helps shape policies, programs and practices which improve the lives of people with disabilities across the lifespan.

We partner with people with disabilities, community organizations, policymakers, and clinicians to produce research that addresses the critical issues that people with disabilities and their families face. This research incorporates qualitative and quantitative projects that are informed by the disability community and grounded in disability justice. Our research team includes established academic scholars, postdoctoral fellows, professional research staff, and student research assistants. We prioritize mentorship of the next generation of researchers.

What's Happening at the Lurie Institute

Disability Research for a New Generation

Photo of Monika Mitra, Shoshana Finkel, Alanna Levy, Norma Stobbe, Monica Chen, Rachel Steinberg. Front row: Shira Levie, Judy Heumann, Max Tang. Text on picture reads "Disability Research for a New Generation"

The Lurie Undergraduate Fellowship offers opportunity to learn policy and create community.

For more than half a century, the Brandeis University community has championed the rights of people with disabilities, part of the school’s commitment to social justice.


Disability Pride Month at the Lurie Institute

The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy is celebrating Disability Pride Month

Throughout the month of July, the Lurie Institute highlighted milestones within disability history and other moments and experiences of disability pride along with the disability pride stories of several of our team members.

During July, our page grew with the addition of new spotlights on historical moments in disability pride as well as on Lurie staff member's own disability-pride experiences. Our events culminated in August with the webinar, Disability Identity and Pride in Equity Research, hosted by our Community Living Equity Center (webinar recording available soon)

Learn More About Lurie's Disability Pride Month Celebration

Carrie Buck Distinguished Fellowship 2023: Short Video Introduction

Carrie Buck Distinguished Fellowship 2023: Short videoThis short video describes the Carrie Buck Distinguished Fellowship, its background, and our inaugural recipient, Laurie Bertram Roberts. Visit our fellowship page to browse our multiple resources on the Carrie Buck Distinguished Fellowship and to find the keynote talk by Laurie.

Watch the short video introduction

State of the Science 2023: Community Living Policy

State of the Science: Community Living Policy | Virtual discussions hosted by the Community Living Policy CenterThe Community Living Policy Center hosted a three-part webinar series on State of the Science: Community Living Policy.

The three webinars brought together researchers, advocates, and other disability community stakeholders to discuss current research, gaps in knowledge, needs of the community, and opportunities to advance community living policy. These discussions will help inform the work of researchers and research funders to help shape access to equitable and person-centered home and community-based services in the future.

Visit the Information Page to Learn More

What to Think About Before Having a Baby

What to Think About Before Having a Baby: A Guide for Women with I/DDWhat to Think About Before Having a Baby is the first of four videos by the National Center for Disability & Pregnancy Research in its guide for women with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.

Access NCDPR's first video guide

Lurie Institute Director Promoted to Full Professor

Congratulations to Monika Mitra on her promotion to full professor as the Nancy Lurie Marks Professor of Disability PolicyMonika Mitra, PhD, the director of the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy, has been promoted to full professor. Mitra is now the Nancy Lurie Marks Professor of Disability Policy.

Congratulations, Monika! We're so proud of you.

CLPC's Director, Joe Caldwell, Awarded NARRTC's Commendation Award for 2023

Joe Caldwell, CLPC Director, is the 2023 Recipient of NARRTC's Commendation AwardCongratulations to Joe Caldwell, director of the Community Living Policy Center, for being awarded NARRTC's prestigious Commendation Award for 2023.

According to NARRTC: "Commendations are awarded by NARRTC for research, teaching, service, knowledge translation, or advocacy in the field of disability for specific, focused activities or achievements. Commendations recognize important contributions that strategically or creatively advance the field and/of disability." Well deserved, Joe!

Read more about Joe

We're Hiring for an Open-Rank Faculty Appointment in Disability Policy

We're Hiring – Open-Rank Faculty Position in Disability PolicyWe are seeking a scholar whose research and teaching apply to issues of disability policy. The specific focus within this broad field is open, and applicants with expertise in areas such as health, poverty, community-living policy, employment, housing, civil rights, and intersectionality are welcome to apply.

The Heller School is looking for candidates who are committed to the highest standards of scholarship with a record of funded research and public engagement. We hope to identify a future colleague for whom our tagline, “knowledge advancing social justice,” resonates.

Learn more and apply

Current Featured Work

Disability Identity and Pride in Equity Research webinar banner

Recent Webinar: Disability Identity and Pride in Equity Research

The Community Living Equity Center's first webinar included a brief introduction of the CLEC mission and guiding principles. Researchers discussed gaps in equity research, and self-advocates shared their perspectives on disability, identity, and representation within research. Access the webinar recording.

Strengthening the Long-Term Support Services Coordinator Role within One Care: A Qualitative Study and Analysis of the One Care Massachusetts Health Plan

Research Summary: Strengthening the Long-Term Support Services Coordinator Role within One Care, a Massachusetts Health Plan

This research summary from the Community Living Policy Center describes a qualitative study of One Care—the Massachusetts plan serving persons between the ages of 21 and 64 who have both Medicaid and Medicare—and evaluates the role of Long Term Support Services Coordinators within the plan.

OakDays: Permanent Affordable Housing with Healthcare and Home and Community-Based Services for Unhoused Disabled People

New Case Study: OakDays

Research from the Community Living Policy Center and affiiliated partners examined a pilot study in California to provide permanent affordable housing with healthcare and home and community-based services for unhoused disabled people.
Parents and Parenting with Disabilities: Perspectives from Chile

Webinar: Parents & Parenting with Disabilities: Perspectives from Chile

The National Research Center for Parents with Disabilities presented a webinar featuring three Chilean disability researchers who discussed their work, experience, and perspectives on parents and parenting with disabilities in Chile. Access the webinar recording.

Our Areas of Study

Healthcare worker with child

Healthcare Equity

People with disabilities across the United States face significant disparities in finding and receiving healthcare. Our work uncovers these disparities through rigorous analysis and identifies promising policy solutions that governments, hospitals, insurance providers, clinics, and providers can use to ensure that people with disabilities receive equitable care.
Parent playing with children

Parents with Disabilities

Parents with disabilities have experiences and support needs that are often different from those of parents without disabilities. Our research identifies these experiences and needs to shape policies and programs that help parents with disabilities raise their children, receive culturally competent healthcare, and advocate for themselves when working with child welfare agencies or family courts.
Young people, including girl with prosthetic leg, sitting on a bench

Community Living Policy

The Lurie Institute conducts and supports research into policies that integrate people with disabilities into the wider community. People with disabilities have the right to live, work, and play in the community, and we are proud to help support those rights through our work.
“People with disabilities, like everybody else, should have the supports to live and to thrive in their communities.”
—Monika Mitra, Director of the Lurie Institute