Education

Students and professionals from varied disciplines  come together at the Center to seek the following educational objectives:

  • Develop presentation skills for scholarly and professional audiences
  • Develop writing skills in areas of social sciences research and policy analysis for scholarly, practitioner, and consumer publications
  • Study related legal, legislative, and policymaking issues
  • Develop awareness of disability issues in employment, society, and social services

As part of the Center's efforts to train and supervise students, we have offered several opportunities.

  • Internship opportunities for Social Work and Sociology students.
  • Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) for graduate education to provide students entering graduate programs an opportunity to engage in relevant research and evaluation activities.

Research

The Law, Health Policy & Disability Center conducts basic and applied research. Current research topics include health research, research on multimedia informed consent and jail diversion research for people with disabilities.

We partner with private, state, and federal agencies and receive funding to conduct research from the Nellie Ball Trust, the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health, state and local agencies such as Polk County Regional Mental Health and Disability Services Governing Board.

Jail Diversion Research

The Jail Diversion Program has been in place in Polk County Jail for over a decade with the goal of helping the jail's population with serious mental illness to return to the community safely and to reduce the chances they will reoffend in the future. The purpose of this research is to use data that are currently available to investigate the factors that lead to desired outcomes or create challenges to the success of the program.

Informed Consent Research

Informed consent is effective only if individuals are presented with the relevant, legally required information about the research study and understand that information sufficiently to make an informed decision. LHPDC, collaborating with individuals from the UI College of Medicine, Bioethics, and external research and healthcare institutions, have been conducting research on the effects of multimedia and interactivity for improving patient comprehension and trust in the informed consent process.

More about LHPDC research projects.

Service

Polk County Health Services Evaluation

LHPDC conducts an annual independent evaluation for the Polk County Mental Health and Disability Services Region via Polk County Health Services in Des Moines, Iowa, to help improve services for individuals with disabilities in the Des Moines area. The Polk Region advocates for people with disabilities by helping them pursue employment and education, using an array of educational, training, and employment services. Funding comes from a contract with the Polk County Region.

Southeast ADA Center Technical Assistance

LHPDC provides technical assistance and website support for the Southeast ADA Center, who does training and guidance on the Americans with Disabilities Act to the U.S. Southeast. Funding is through a subcontract from the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University from a grant by a National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research Grant (90DP0090-01-00).