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. 

Executive Committee Met in December and March

The Executive Committee met virtually on December 10, 2020 and March 17, 2021 to focus on the implementation of the Strategic Plan, update the committee on working group activities, share agency updates, and discuss the impact of COVID-19 on federal disability research. The meeting minutes can be found on the ICDR Website:

Save the Date:
Virtual ICDR Stakeholder Event   

The ICDR Executive Committee is planning a virtual stakeholder meeting on June 23, 2021 from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM ET. Presentations will include information on ICDR accomplishments and priorities, details about the Government Wide Inventory, and dedicated sessions exploring the following research topics:
  • Assistive Technology & Universal Design
  • Community Integration & Participation
  • Employment & Education
  • Health, Functioning & Wellness
Additional information, including how to register, will be shared closer to the event date.
Update on Government Wide Inventory Progress
The Government Wide Inventory (GWI) working group is continuing their work with interagency colleagues. The GWI activities have been carried out through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), specifically the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Partner agencies that were involved in this work and provided data included the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), NIDILRR, NIH, National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The working group has been convening monthly to focus on the development of the database of disability grant data, called the Interagency Rehabilitation and Disability (IRAD) Research Portfolio. IRAD is expected to launch within the next month.

White Paper on the Impact of COVID-19 on Disability Research

The field of disability research has worked extensively to bridge disparities between people with and without disabilities. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and accentuated existing disparities for people with disabilities. Furthermore, the pandemic has vast implications for federal research, creating new challenges for the safe and efficient continuation of research with human subjects throughout the pandemic. Disability research has turned to technology to provide virtual options for conducting research, yet technology access is an area of inequality between people with and without disabilities. 

The ICDR recently published the paper, The Impact of COVID-19 on Disability Research: New Challenges and Widening Disparities, that discusses COVID-19’s impact on federal research, as well as the impact on the disability research community specifically. Challenges to the continuation of disability research during the pandemic are discussed in addition to innovations and emerging topic areas. Finally, this paper highlights areas of disability research related to COVID-19 that warrant further exploration.


Toolkit Release on Health Information Technology

The ICDR recently published the Health Information Technology Toolkit: A Compendium of Accessible and Usable Health IT Resources. To increase the reach of health IT to all Americans, including those with disabilities and older adults, health IT must be accessible and usable for consumers and providers. Having accurate and accessible information is pivotal in supporting health IT in the health care ecosystem. The purpose of this toolkit is to highlight resources, research, and best practices across federal agencies, federal grantees, and non-federal entities related to ensuring and encouraging that health IT is accessible and usable. This toolkit is designed to be a compendium of resources to help further research and development of health IT that is accessible and usable. It is meant to help facilitate future research and collaboration by federal agencies and departments and presents recommendations related to accessible and usable health IT. 
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