Health and Disability Policy

The Life Span Institute was founded as a research center focused on improving the lives of individuals with disabilities of all kinds, and public advocacy for individuals with disabilities has been an emphasis for more than 40 years.  We study how public policy, law and innovation affect the health and wellbeing of people with disabilities. We also explore how communities can better support the independence, education and careers of people with disabilities to assure quality of life. 

Mother hugging her daughter. They are on a balcony and both have long brown hair.

Research Highlights

Group photo of people involved in the Institute for Health and Disability Policy Studies

Featured Research Center: IHDPS

The Institute for Health and Disability Policy Studies conducts timely and meaningful research and evaluation to inform health and disability policy, with the goal of improving access and quality of care for all people, particularly for those with disabilities and chronic illnesses.
student with hands on computer laptop keys

Promoting Self-Determination for Students with Disabilities

This study will empirically develop and test an interactive web application that will increase the knowledge and skills to effectively set and attain academic, behavior, and transition-related goals, leading to increased self-determination and goal attainment among adolescents with high-incidence disabilities.
illustration of a rainbow flag and an autism symbol on a hospital entrance

Grant to Study Experiences of People with Disabilities Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic

An established KU research program that surveys Americans with disabilities about their health has been awarded a $600,000 grant to document experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, including those of marginalized populations within the disability community, such as LGBTQ+ individuals and people of color.

Health and Disability Policy Research Projects