The Law, Health Policy and Disability Center of the University of Iowa College of Law, in partnership with the Center for the Study and Advancement of Disability Policy; the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services; the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University; and Community Options, Inc., has been awarded five year funding from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) to establish a Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Workforce Investment and Employment Policy for Persons with Disabilities (Center).
The Center helps expand, improve, and modify disability policy and other more general policies in order to improve the employment status of Americans with disabilities and increase their independence and self-sufficiency. Based on research from this project and other NIDRR-funded projects, the Center establishes an information and technical assistance resource to government leaders and decision makers at state and federal levels; individuals with disabilities; parents and family members; and other interested parties, offering new and revised approaches to workforce development and employment policy. Studies conducted by this project include:
- an analysis of the relationship between select federal and state policies upon the employment of people with disabilities,
- an analysis of the policy-based implication of outcome-based reimbursement on the delivery of employment and rehabilitation services to people with disabilities, and
- an analysis of the effect of civil rights protections and multiple environmental factors on promoting or depressing the employment status of people with disabilities.
The Center actively seeks to be outcome-focused and involve individuals with disabilities, parents, and family members in all facets of project activities, including training, research, information dissemination, and technical assistance. Outcomes expected include:
- Policies improved at a state and federal level as a result of Centers research, training, and technical activities.
- New relationships forged between state and federal policy due to knowledge utilization from Center activities.
- Improved understanding of public policy and its relationship to improving employment outcomes for persons with disabilities.
- Identification of new research questions for further study to eliminate barriers to economic independence for Americans with disabilities.
For further information about the Center's research, information dissemination, training and technical support, contact the Washington, DC office at (202) 521-2930, or the Iowa office at (319) 335-8458.