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Independent Living Research Utilization

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We create opportunities for independence for people with disabilities through research, education, and consultation


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ILRU is a program of
TIRR Memorial Hermann

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Major Accomplishments

  • Operated the IL NETWORK since January 1994 as the national training and technical assistance project in partnership with the National Council on Independent Living and with funding from the Rehabilitation Services Administration;
  • Designated as the DBTAC Southwest ADA Center for Region VI by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research since 1993; one of ten disability and business technical assistance centers funded;
  • Established in 2004, the ILRU Community Living Partnership; National State-to-State Technical Assistance Center in partnership with Boston College Graduate School of Social Work; Family Voices, Inc.; Human Services Research Institute; Institute for Disability Access; The Medstate Group, Inc.; National Association of State Units on Aging; CHANCE, Institute on Disability, University of New Hampshire; and Utah State University Center for Persons with Disabilities to provide a program of technical assistance for 2004 grantees implementing programs under the CMS Real Choice Systems Change Grant initiative.
  • Established in 2001, the National Technical Assistance Exchange for Community Living, in collaboration with the Center for State Health Policy (CSHP) at Rutgers University, to provide a program of technical assistance for grantees implementing programs under the CMS National Community Living initiative.
  • Collected data on international employment policy and people with disabilities as part of the NIDRR-funded IDEAS 2000 project in partnership with the World Institute on Disability, Rehabilitation International, Mobility International USA, and the Wheeled Mobility Center at San Francisco State University;
  • Established the Research Information for Independent Living (RIIL) project in 1999 in conjunction with the University of Kansas research and training center on independent living to promote use of research by people with disabilities, their family members, service providers, and other non-researcher stakeholders;
  • Partnered with the National Rehabilitation Hospital's Center for Health and Disability Research to conduct the rehabilitation research and training center on managed health care and disability with funding from NIDRR from 1997 to 2002;
  • Developed and provided Web-based methods of disseminating research findings to the independent living field since 1999 as a member of the rehabilitation research and training center on health, wellness, and disability consortium, funded by NIDRR;
  • Conducted the national research and training center for independent living from 1985-2000 with funding from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR);
  • Designated as the national program office for The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Project, "Improving Service Systems for People with Disabilities," to provide administrative, managerial, communications, and technical support to pilot programs in eleven innovative independent living centers nationwide over a six-year period beginning in 1989;
  • Conducted a national training program from 1992-94 in partnership with the Disabilities Rights Education and Defense Fund in which 400 persons with disabilities received training in ADA rights and opportunities;
  • Developed and conducted management training programs for directors and middle managers of independent living centers through long-term training grants from the Rehabilitation Services Administration over a ten-year period beginning in 1985;
  • Served as a rural independent living research utilization center from 1983 to 1986 with funding from National Institute of Handicapped Research (now NIDRR);
  • Developed in 1977 a comprehensive set of definitions and a method for categorizing models of programs providing independent living services;
  • Maintained a national directory of independent living centers and related organizations since 1978;
  • Developed and maintained the ILRU National Database on Independent Living Programs, a computerized listing of data of over 250 programs;
  • Distributed more than 78,000 books, pamphlets, posters, and videotapes related to independent living and the Americans with Disabilities Act in print and alternate formats, as well as electronically;
  • Funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research to identify, describe, and promote the replication of exemplary practices and programs in independent living centers in rural areas; and
  • Conducted a field-initiated research project to measure the capacity of staff members at independent living centers nationwide to serve and inform their communities about rights and obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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The complete ILRU website was developed with support from grants from the Department of Education. However, its contents and the opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and no endorsement by the Department should be inferred. ILRU is a program of TIRR Memorial Hermann, a nationally recognized medical rehabilitation facility for persons with disabilities.

©2005-2014 ILRU Program, All rights reserved

ILRU at TIRR Memorial Hermann
TIRR Memorial Hermann Research Center
1333 Moursund Street
Houston, TX 77030-3405

713.520.0232 (Voice/TTY) 713.520.5785 (Fax)

Last Modified: October 25, 2006