Center for Disability Research & Policy Studies


Translating research into actions that improve the lives of people with disabilities.


The Center for Disability Research & Policy Studies would like to achieve the following over the next five (5) years:

  1. Become a state, regional and national resource of research and policy studies for people with disabilities.
  2. Develop models for policy and best practice through research and evaluation (e.g.  Individual Placement and Support, AgrAbility, Consumer Satisfaction).
  3. Provide innovation in disability research (e.g. assistive technology, social integration).
  4. Diversify funding, resources, and revenue to continue to grow an expert research team that has a reputation for being an impactful disability advocate in both research and policy.
  5. Develop a multi-dimensional brand that is dynamic, flexible, accountable, productive, and outcome focused.
  6. Create and disseminate accessible and practical information through alternative methods of communications (e.g., publications, annual plan, white papers).


The Center for Disability Research and Policy Studies at Auburn University supports their local, state, regional, and national partners to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities.  This is accomplished through research initiatives, policy studies, technical assistance, and training.

Through comprehensive research practices, the Center for Disability Research and Policy Studies (CDRP) assists organizations in evaluating their programs to improve the quality of their services and promote an efficient use of their resources. Specializing in consumer satisfaction surveys, needs assessments, and case studies, CDRP uses the best statistical software programs to collect and analyze data. The Center’s well qualified staff translates the research into practical applications that will assist the organization in making strategical changes and trainings that are easily incorporated into their day to day operations..

The Center is a natural convener to bring together state offices, policymakers, advocacy groups, consumers, families and other interested parties to discuss and develop statewide plans that improve access and service delivery of best practice and expand payment structures for reimbursing services as well as break down barriers that impede an individual’s ability to be successful. This is also accomplished by providing a forum for education and training opportunities.  Through their commitment to research dissemination, CDRP works to change policies that may be outdated or non-responsive to the needs of people with the most significant disabilities and provide support to translating this research into new ways of delivering services.

There are many research opportunities for graduate students within the Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, and Counseling to engage in the work of CDRP that will make a real difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities


Assistive technology not only enables people with the most significant disabilities to independently move, turn on lights, open doors, and answer the phone, but it also affords people the freedom to live in the community of their choice and to earn a living.

The Center for Disability Research and Policy Studies, in collaboration with the College of Architecture, Design and Construction, School of Industrial and Graphic Design, has research underway that examines how Assistive Technology can help people live life more independently. This can only be accomplished through partnering with individuals, parents, and service practitioners to create innovative and affordable solutions.  This cross-disciplinary team seeks to establish an AT Service Center for people with disabilities that will significantly increase their access to the full range of technology services, from an initial needs assessment to device adjustment and enhancement through the years. The team has a specific focus on providing new assistive technology to our veterans.