The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy

About Us

Lurie Institute group photo 2023

The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy conducts multidisciplinary research on the needs, experiences, and policy priorities of people with disabilities. Our work covers a wide range of topics, including the experiences of parents with disabilities; policies addressing long-term services and supports for people with disabilities; and health and healthcare outcomes. Moreover, the Lurie Institute houses four major federally funded programs of research: the National Research Center for Parents with Disabilities, the Community Living Policy Center, the National Center for Disability and Pregnancy Research, and the Community Living Equity Center. These programs focus on salient issues affecting people with disabilities and the communities around them to ensure the full integration of people with disabilities into society at large. 

The Lurie Institute was created by a generous gift from the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation in 2007. Founded over 25 years ago, the NLM Family Foundation is dedicated to helping people on the autism spectrum lead fulfilling and rewarding lives. The Foundation is further committed to understanding autism from a scientific perspective, increasing opportunities and services available to the autism community, and educating the public about autism. While the Lurie Institute's mission has expanded to include research about other disability communities, our work continues to prioritize the well-being and full inclusion of people with disabilities. 

For an overview of our areas of research and advocacy, check out our brochure

Letter from the Director

The Lurie Institute conducts multidisciplinary research designed to improve the lives, well-being and outcomes of people with disabilities across the lifespan. This work is grounded in disability justice and is informed by the values, priorities and experiences of the disability community. Toward this end, we collaborate with other researchers, advocacy groups, policymakers and politicians. Brandeis University has a long history of engaging in groundbreaking research rooted in the empowerment and inclusion of people with disabilities, thanks to the work of tireless advocates like Gunnar Dybwad, Rosemary Dybwad and Irving Zola.

Our work tackles the challenges that people with disabilities face in today’s society: poverty, unemployment, inequitable access to health care, discrimination and exclusion from the community at large. Of course, our goal is not just to highlight problems—we are also dedicated to identifying solutions to those problems to ensure that people with disabilities are fully integrated, autonomous members of the community. Some of our research projects, like the National Research Center for Parents with Disabilities, the Community Living Policy Center, the National Center for Disability and Pregnancy Research, and the Community Living Equity Center, are explicitly intended to identify ways in which our research can foster the full inclusion of people with disabilities as parents and members of the community at large.

Should you have any questions or comments about the Lurie Institute, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Monika Mitra, PhD