A Lifespan Approach to Disability

At the Institute, we work through seven 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.


School Age

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



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


Older Adulthood

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


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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Indiana COVID-19 Vaccination Resources

The Center for Health Equity has compiled a resources list for people with disabilities and their caregivers to help them navigate and understand the COVID-19 vaccines and the process of receiving them. The list includes 1) websites to accessible documents; 2) videos in ASL; 3) information on activities you can do after being vaccinated; 4) documents explaining what the vaccines are; and 5) links to schedule vaccinations.

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COVID-19 Resources

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News from the Institute

Indiana University’s Center on Education and Lifelong Learning has received funding to continue the work of the Indiana Center on Teacher Quality as part of a federally funded $6 million state personnel development grant to the Indiana Department of Education, Office of Special Education. Indiana was one of only five states to receive funding in this award cycle. The grant will focus on rural Indiana schools and communities.

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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 2020–2021

6,242hours of training and technical assistance provided

492training and technical assistance events

56,975individuals 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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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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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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The Indiana Institute on Disability and Community (IIDC) has a number of ways that you can connect with us. Newsletters, Blogs, Reports, Trainings, Special Events. Opt In! 

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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 4:15 pm ET.

Learn more about the Library

Browse our collection

Find Disability Resources with FINDER

For those with disabilities and their families, trying to navigate a complex web of services, programs, and other disability-related community resources can be daunting. In November, 2020, IU’s Indiana Institute on Disability and Community (IIDC) partnered with AWS Foundation of Ft. Wayne, IN, to implement Indiana Disability Resource FINDER as part of its library information and referral services.

“Research has shown that locating information about disability services and resources is a major hurdle for community stakeholders and disability professionals. As a state-wide tool, FINDER assists in making information accessible and geographically relevant for all Hoosiers,” said Derek Nord, IIDC director. “Through our extensive work across Indiana that touches on all stages of life, the IIDC is excited to expand FINDER’s reach to make it the go-to resource.”

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FINDER provides 24/7 access to community services, is easy to use, and supports first-time users with a step-by-step guide. For more experienced users, it has advanced search features. Regardless of how information is located, search results are immediately available, can be saved for future use and shared.

View the introduction videos below to learn about:

  • How to Register for an Account
  • How to Claim Your Listing
  • How to Submit a Provider Listing

Click on the "Engage with FINDER" button to access the website.


 Engage with FINDER
The Institute advances policies and practices across the disability lifespan