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The Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR) promotes coordination and cooperation among federal departments and agencies conducting disability, independent living, and rehabilitation research including programs relating to assistive technology research and research that incorporates the principles of universal design. It is chaired by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research and includes 17 statutory member agencies. 

ICDR Welcomes New Chair

The Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR) is a coordinating group of federal department and agency representatives that promote coordination, cooperation, and collaboration among federal departments, agencies, and organizations conducting disability and rehabilitation research. The ICDR is chaired by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s designee, the appointed Director of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). In May 2021, we were honored to welcome Dr. Anjali J. Forber-Pratt as the new NIDILRR Director and newly appointed Chair of the ICDR. 

Dr. Forber-Pratt began her research career in 2006, and her primary area of expertise is disability identity development. Prior to joining ACL, she served as an assistant professor at Vanderbilt University. In addition to teaching courses and serving as a mentor to undergraduate students and thesis advisor for candidates for master’s and doctoral degrees, she served as principal investigator for research projects covering a range of disability issues, including training of special education teachers, experiences of students with disabilities at every education level, and identity development. Dr. Forber-Pratt’s complete bio can be found at this link: https://acl.gov/news-and-events/announcements/dr-anjali-j-forber-pratt-joins-acl-director-national-institute.

Message from the Chair

Greetings,
 
The mission of the Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR) is critical to interagency coordination of disability, independent living, and rehabilitation research program efforts across the Federal government. To this end, the ICDR has been continuing to implement the Government-Wide Strategic Plan that is framing the goals and objectives of the Committee.
 
The ICDR and working groups submitted the Plan and obtained clearance April 26, 2019. Since then, we have been working diligently to accomplish the goals and objectives established in the Plan. The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we function as an organization, but not the nature of our work. Virtual collaboration has been a necessary and practical approach to maintaining the ICDR’s momentum toward accomplishing our goals.
 
We are particularly enthusiastic about the progress of this year’s events. We hosted our first bi-annual Stakeholders Meeting on June 23. This virtual meeting shared the current accomplishments and vision of the ICDR, as well as the future of its mission and activities. It also provided an overview of the current state of research progress and identified future research priorities in four main topic areas: Assistive Technology & Universal Design; Community Integration & Participation; Employment & Education and Health, Functioning & Wellness. The audience included a wide range of ICDR stakeholders, federal interagency partners, researchers, practitioners, disability organizations and ICDR Committee members.
 
The Lunch & Learn webinar series conducted this year, intended to inform federal partners, the research community and stakeholders on a variety of topics related to the disability and rehabilitation space. These monthly presentations highlight and promote the work of the ICDR and member agencies and organizations.
 
The Employment and Education (EE) work group hosted a virtual Symposium on Employment for Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities: Translating Evidence amid the COVID-19 Pandemic on July 28. This virtual symposium examined research, evidence, and strategies for improving education and employment outcomes for youth with disabilities during the current pandemic and beyond. This event allowed participants to better understand impacts of COVID-19 on youth with disabilities and their families; gain knowledge of current education and employment research; and discuss challenges and strategies to promote resiliency and improved employment outcomes.
 
The Government Wide Inventory (GWI) work group continues to work toward the planning, design, and deployment of a searchable GWI for disability, independent living, and rehabilitation research for trend and data analysis across all Federal agencies. This work is conducted in conjunction with the NIH Library. A test platform and organizational data are completing the population process. The group will soon introduce 2017 data and begin working with other agencies, including the Department of Defense and National Science Foundation (NSF).
 
This unique interagency disability research collaboration has served to promote the exchange of information and foster coordination among the member departments and agencies. The ICDR is making great progress and we eagerly anticipate the outcomes of the work that is underway.   
 
If you would like more information about the work of the ICDR, please email inquiries, comments, or requests to the support team at ICDRinfo@neweditions.net.
 
Anjali J. Forber-Pratt, PhD
Chair ICDR
 
Rasheda Q. Parks, PhD
Executive Director ICDR

Executive Committee Hosted Virtual Stakeholder Meeting

The Executive Committee hosted a virtual Stakeholder Meeting on June 23, 2021. Presentations included information on ICDR accomplishments and priorities, and dedicated sessions exploring research topics and trends in assistive technology and universal design, community integration and participation, employment and education, and health and wellness. Researchers and subject matter experts shared an overview of the current state of research and identified future research priorities in each of the four topic areas. For more information about the meeting, visit the ICDR Website: https://icdr.acl.gov/

The next Executive Committee meeting will be held on October 6, 2021.

Employment for Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities: Translating Evidence Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic  

On July 28, 2021, the ICDR hosted a virtual symposium, Employment for Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities: Translating Evidence Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic. The symposium examined research evidence and strategies for improving education and employment outcomes for youth and young adults with disabilities during the pandemic and beyond. Participants gained a better understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on youth with disabilities and their families; gained knowledge of current education and employment research; discussed challenges and strategies to promote resiliency and improved employment outcomes; and helped generate recommendations for future research, policy, and practice.

The slide presentations for this symposium can be accessed at the following link: https://neweditions.net/meeting/icdr-translating-evidence-agenda. Panel summaries will be posted to the ICDR Website: https://icdr.acl.gov/.
Lunch & Learn Webinar Series

The ICDR is hosting a Lunch and Learn Webinar Series on topics related to the disability and rehabilitation to highlight the work of ICDR member agencies and organizations.

The first Lunch and Learn featured a presentation by Dr. Jennifer Stevens-Lapsley, Getting Older is Not for the Weak; An Evidence-Based Approach to Improving Mobility. Dr. Stevens-Lapsley shared research on how medical deconditioning in older adults impairs functional mobility and increases rehospitalization risk. She also discussed the practical application of walking speed in predicting hospitalization risk and mortality, and shared the benefits of high-intensity approaches to rehabilitation to improve patient outcomes and optimize value. The meeting recording is available on the ICDR Website: https://icdr.acl.gov/.

The second Lunch and Learn featured a presentation by Dr. Susanne Bruyere and Dr. Sarah von Schrader on the research being conducted by the Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability at Cornell University on workplace disability inclusion. The meeting recording will be posted on the ICDR Website soon.

The next Lunch and Learn is scheduled for September 16, 11 am – 12 pm. ET. It will feature a presentation from Dr. Debra Brucker of the Institute on Disability and Veronica Helms Garrison of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development on Using National Health Surveys to Better Understand HUD-Assisted Adults Living with Disabilities. You can register at this link by September 10: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMvdeCsrD8jEtPLzsshyUGp45k4ZrQznPS4.

Toolkit Release on Aging with Disability

In May 2021, The ICDR published a toolkit on Aging with Disability: A Toolkit for Interagency Collaboration. The resources in this toolkit are designed to facilitate further research by federal agencies in the field of aging with a disability and to promote interagency collaboration. The toolkit offers a wide range of current research and resources from federal agencies and examples of best practices from across the public and private sectors. Additionally, this toolkit discusses current gaps in the research on aging with a disability and highlights areas for future research and collaboration.
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The Interagency Committee on Disability Research is maintained by New Editions Consulting, Inc. and funded through the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Administration for Community Living (ACL)
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