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A Lifespan Approach to Disability

At the Institute, we work through six centers to address issues across the lifespan and major life areas.

Early Childhood

Where family–community partnerships provide all families the supports they need to nurture, teach, and advocate for their children.

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School Age

Where the capacity of educational systems and universally designed services meet the needs of all students.

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Adulthood

Where the access is improved and expanded to provide opportunities for competitive integrated employment and community living.

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Aging

Where individuals participate in all facets of community life and have choice and control over their health and independence.

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About the Institute

The Indiana Institute on Disability and Community (IIDC), Indiana’s University Center for Excellence in Disabilities, has fostered a foundation of excellence for community investment in developmental disabilities since 1970. Our mission is to work with communities to welcome, value, and support the meaningful participation of people of all ages and abilities through research, education, and service.

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From the Director

"The future is bright for people with disabilities in Indiana and the changes underway today will serve as the critical foundation. Though there is much work to do across the state, I am confident that with Indiana’s strong and effective self-advocates, families, advocates, professionals, and policymakers, people with disabilities will have greater opportunities to lead meaningful lives in the community."

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News from the Institute

Indiana University Bloomington has announced that the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands will become a seventh research center this summer. Established in 1993, the Eppley Institute partners with recreation, park, and public land organizations in order to enhance access, choice, and quality of natural, cultural, and recreational experiences for all people.

The Center for Community Living and Careers (CCLC) at the Indiana Institute is collaborating with IN*SOURCE, Indiana’s parent training and information center, to deliver Family Employment Awareness Trainings (FEAT) to Hoosier families, their young adults with disabilities, and the professionals who support them. This new training series, which begins next year, is sponsored by the AWS Foundation.

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Upcoming Events

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Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS)—Daily Living and Employment

Hear from Adria Nassim, disability advocate with the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at Indiana University, as she addresses the importance of Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) in supporting daily living and the employment of people with disabilities.

This video, made for @nationalapse is in response to a call by APSE to provide voice to critical policy debates and help Congress determine what the most pressing needs are for people with disabilities, their families, and those who support them. For more about APSE, visit apse.org.

Description of the video:

Hi everybody, my name is Adria Nassim. I live in Bloomington, Indiana. I receive services in the community for direct support. I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth, as well as a severe learning disability and an autism-spectrum disorder in childhood and mid-adolescence. I need services to help me be able to live independently. Just to give you an example of that: I was on a phone call yesterday evening with a friend of mine, Rachael, who actually is a college student here at Indiana University Bloomington. She said, "Adria, what did you eat tonight for dinner?" And I said, "Rachael, I ate some steamed broccoli in the microwave and a frozen meal." And I told her I eat things like that right now because I actually don't have anybody supporting me, and when I'm alone I typically do eat things that are made in the microwave because it is a safety hazard for me to be using an oven or a stove independently without supervision." So it takes someone doing cooking and making food on the stove with me with direct supervision. And life skills and independent living skills—things like cooking dinner, folding laundry, paying bills—require assistance for me to be able to live independently. And I guarantee you my parents don't want me living in their basement. As much as I love them, they have done their darnedest to see that I have the skills needed to live away from them and live a productive and meaningful life. And that is why I need direct support from college students like Rachael and other girls that I have in my life to support me. And that's why it's so vital that we make sure that these providers are paid adequately and are able to get to their clients during this crisis. So thank you so much for paying attention and giving me your time. I really appreciate it. And let's make sure that these clients have the services they need. Thank you so much.

in 2018–2019

7,738hours of training and technical assistance provided

563training and technical assistance events

69,525individuals with disabilities impacted through training events

What We Offer

Learning Through Trainings, Workshops, and Technical Assistance

From the Interdisciplinary Education Training Program (IETP), to our online learning courses, to the many in-person workshops and trainings offered by our Centers, the Institute can help you learn and improve. We also work directly with schools, state agencies, service providers for people with disabilities, and institutions of higher education to address issues and create new plans.

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Connections to Community

We host blogs with writings from people with disabilities, like Adria, to provide insights into disability through the lens of their personal experiences. We also sponsor student groups like the Students on the Spectrum Club for IU and Ivy Tech students, and parent groups of children with autism to provide a foundation for self-directed mutual support.

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Resources for You

Our centers have compiled resources for educators, other professionals, parents, students, transitioning individuals with disabilities, and policymakers—and you can browse them all in one place.

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Our Library

The Indiana Institute on Disability and Community has a full-service lending library with a wide variety of resources about disabilities across the lifespan. Regardless of where you live, we are happy to lend our materials to you through the mail or to help you find the answers you need.

We’re normally open weekdays from 8 am to 11:30 am and 12:30 pm to 4 pm ET.

Learn more about the Library

Browse our collection

Find Disability Resources with FINDER

Developed in 2018 through an initiative funded by AWS Foundation, FINDER gives people living with disabilities 24/7 access to a comprehensive range of community resources designed to improve their quality of life.

Service providers, community advocates and medical professionals regularly contribute to FINDER, keeping the information current, relevant and practical.

FINDER supports the right for people of all abilities to freely choose how they wish to live their lives to the fullest. It does not rate or endorse programs, services or organizations. It is up to each individual to decide if a resource fits their unique needs.

Use FINDER

The Institute advances policies and practices across the disability lifespan