CONTACT: TOM SNEE
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct. 7, 2002
UI Disability Law Center Receives $1.5 Million Grant to Help the Disabled
The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)
of the U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $1.5 million grant to the
Law, Health Policy & Disability Center at the University of Iowa College
of Law to study improved access to technology for disabled persons.
The project, "Technology for Independence: A Community-Based Resource
Center," is designed to help community disability organizations across
the United States develop research projects that increase access to and use
of technology by persons with disabilities.
"Many barriers prevent access to technology for millions of persons
with disabilities," said Peter Blanck, UI Kierscht Professor of Law,
director of the disability law center and principal investigator of the project.
"Working with community disability organizations as partners in research
will help narrow the gap in access to technology."
Grant partner and co-investigator Lex Frieden, director of Independent Living
Research Utilization (ILRU) at the Baylor College of Medicine and chairman
of the National Council on Disability, said that over the next five years
the project will help community organizations conduct research through Web
conferences, annual symposia, and the selection of a blue-ribbon panel of
consulting researchers with disabilities.
Heather Ritchie, a researcher at the UI disability law center and co-investigator,
notes that the project will assist researchers from around the country and
combines the expertise of the Texas-based ILRU with the Iowa center in technology
access, employment policy, and civil rights. The Technology for Independence
grant is completely funded by a U.S. Department of Education grant.
The Law, Health Policy & Disability Center is a leader in law, technology,
education and research, focused on improving the quality of life for persons
living with disabilities. Based at the University of Iowa College of Law,
with satellite offices in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere, the Center concentrates
on public policy and its impact on persons with disabilities. For more information
on this and other center projects, see http://www.its.uiowa.edu/law.