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National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)

Legislation & Policy

The Creation of NIDILRR and Its Legislative Mandate

The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) is a federal government agency that came into existence in 1978 within the U.S. Department of Education, and continues to operate today under a federal law known as Title II of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This law became part of the United States Code (USC) and NIDILRR’s mandate and mission is described in Title 29, Chapter 16, Subchapter II, Section 762.

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The Basic Business of NIDILRR According to Its Legislative Mandate

The core business of NIDILRR is to award grants and contracts to “states and public or private agencies and organizations, including institutions of higher education, Indian tribes and tribal organizations.” These entities are then supposed to use this money to plan and conduct research, demonstration projects, training and related activities designed to:

  • Develop methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technology, that maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with the most significant disabilities
  • Improve the effectiveness of vocational rehabilitation and other rehabilitation services (source: Title 29, Chapter 16, Subchapter II, Section 764)

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The Rules that Help Translate the Intent of the Law Into Agency Operating Guidelines

The Code of Federal Regulations (known as CFR) are the rules that help translate the intent of a Law into broad agency operating guidelines. With its move to the Administration for Community Living within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) consolidated its Code of Federal Regulations in one place. This new place is 45 CFR Part 1330. Read about the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Final Rule that created these new regulations.

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NIDILRR’s Long-Range Plan

The legislative requirements governing NIDILRRs Long Range plan are described in 29 U.S.C. 762(h). Read NIDILRR’s current Long-Range Plan for Fiscal Years 2013-2017.

NIDILRR has developed a plan to solicit and obtain stakeholder ideas, comments or other input. This input will inform the construction of a new NIDILRR long-range plan. Interested stakeholders may want to Attend NIDILRR 2018-2023 Long-Range Plan Stakeholder Listening Sessions: Help inform our next long-range plan. Share your input with NIDILRR leadership in-person, via teleconference, or email.

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NIDILRR Seeks Comment on Draft Long-Range Plan

The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) is requesting comments on its draft long-range plan for the period 2018–2023 (PDF, 348KB).

Within ACL, NIDILRR works to generate new knowledge and promote its effective use to improve the abilities of individuals with disabilities to perform activities of their choice in the community; and to expand society’s capacity to provide full opportunities and accommodations for people with disabilities. NIDILRR conducts its work through grants that support research and development.

This long-range plan provides an overview of the state of people with disabilities in the United States and NIDILRR’s current investments and potential future directions for research grants. NIDILRR is publishing the draft plan to obtain public comment on the proposed research and development activities to help the agency fulfill its mission.

Comments will be accepted by email to Comments are due by close of business on Monday, March 20.

Read NIDILRR’s draft long-range plan (PDF, 348KB).

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Last Modified: 2/15/2017