Institute on Disability and Human Development

Conducting scholarship and community-based service across the spectrum of disability

The Institute on Disability and Human Development is dedicated to promoting the independence, productivity and inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of society. We realize our mission through academic programs, clinical services, research centers and community programs.

We conduct research and disseminate information about disability to academicians, policymakers, businesses, government agencies, service providers and the general public. We also provide an extensive array of clinical and community service activities, and offer interdisciplinary pre-service training.

At the IDHD, we emphasize the values of cultural diversity, consumer choice and self-determination across the life span in all our activities.

Recognized for Excellence

We are the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service (UCEDD) for Illinois. This makes us part of a national network of 67 UCEDDs (there’s at least one in every U.S. state and territory).

We are part of the Illinois Developmental Disabilities Network with our sister agencies, the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities and Equip for Equality, the state protection and advocacy agency.

What is a UCEDD?

Entities now known as UCEDDs were initially created over four decades ago with the enactment of Public Law 88-164 (1963) to serve people with developmental disabilities. Currently authorized under the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (the DD Act), UCEDDs are now a resource for Americans with a wide range of disabilities. They receive their core funding from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) within the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Each UCEDD is affiliated with a major research university and serves as a resource for all people in the areas of education, research, and service relative to the needs of people with developmental disabilities. Their programs are part of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), a membership organization that supports and promotes a national network of university-based interdisciplinary programs.

A leader in service, research and education

The Institute on Disability and Human Development is a national leader in four areas:

As one of the only UCEDDs that is also an academic department, we offer most of our pre-service training activities through the Department of Disability and Human Development. Our PhD in disability studies is the first of its kind in the nation and one of only a few in the world. We’re also home to the federally-designated Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program for the State of Illinois.

Consumer Advisory Committee

Our Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC) is comprised of individuals with disabilites, family members, and partner organizations in Illinois. CAC provides information, feedback, and advice to our staff on how to improve the lives of people with disabilities in the state through their work.

Consumers and family members

  • Lisa Cesal
  • Marty Fox
  • Michael Grice
  • Nora Handler
  • Stevie Hopkins
  • Laurie Jerue
  • Elbert Lott
  • William Owens Jr.
  • Robert Peterson
  • Leanne Roth
  • Dorelia Rivera
  • Vincent Smith
  • Monica Thorns
  • Lindsay Tonyan
  • Tara Wickey

Organizational representatives