As Indiana’s federally designated University Center for Excellence in Disabilities, the IIDC is known across the state and nation as a leader in research, education, and service to advance inclusive and equitable communities for all people, including those with significant disabilities since 1970. The inclusion of the Eppley Institute under the IIDC umbrella provides a unique opportunity to expand the impact of the Indiana Institute into new spaces – national, state, and local parks and public lands.
“Our campus is committed to inclusion and fostering multidisciplinary work that supports Indiana communities,” said provost and executive vice president Lauren Robel. “Uniting the research missions of the Eppley Institute and the IIDC will enable both organizations to more effectively impact our partner communities.”
“All people have the right to live, recreate, and be fully included in their community,” said Derek Nord, director of the IIDC and associate professor of special education in the School of Education at IU Bloomington. “One’s disability status should not dictate these outcomes. Through the Eppley Institute’s extensive work with park systems and the collaborative opportunities that exist with the IIDC’s six centers, the research and innovation opportunities are many.”
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.
“Our mission and values dovetail with the work of the IIDC,” said Steve Wolter, Eppley Institute director. “The projects conducted by Eppley have had significant impacts to community health, quality of place, and experiences for all peoples. The way in which Eppley will interconnect with the six centers at IIDC will be an extraordinary force for Indiana University, and also for the professions and agencies that we serve.”
The IIDC is one of 21 research centers, institutes, and museums overseen by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research on the IU Bloomington campus. OVPR works to foster excellence in research and creative activities.
“The IIDC is a leader in interdisciplinary, applied research that advances change in the state and country. Together, the Indiana Institute and programs at Eppley will be even better positioned to create new opportunities for sharing of ideas and innovations that benefit everyone,” said Jeff Zaleski, interim vice provost for research.