Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP) Program


The Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP) Projects funding program supports projects that carry out one or more of the following activities: research, development, demonstration, training, dissemination, utilization, and technical assistance.

The purpose of the DRRP program is to plan and conduct research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities to develop methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technology that maximize the full inclusion and integration of individuals with disabilities into society, employment, independent living, family support, and to promote economic and social self-sufficiency and improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act.

NIDILRR funds several types of DRRPs, including:

  1. Knowledge Translation projects

  2. Model Systems in traumatic brain injury and burn injury (Note: SCI Model System is not included with the other model systems as a DRRP because it has its own statutory authority)

  3. ADA National Network projects

  4. Section 21 Program

  5. Individual research projects.

The first four types of DRRPs are managed as separate programs and the above hyperlinks point to a separate page for each program. Therefore, only individual research DRRPs are described here under the general DRRP heading.

DRRPs differ from RRTCs and RERCs in that they generally do not provide training and technical assistance. Awards range in length from three to five years.

How to Apply


Select Accomplishments for FY 2015

Valuable New Model Estimates Return on Investment for State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies
University of Richmond (Grant #90DP0070)

The University of Richmond developed a Return on Investment (ROI) model by examining the employment outcomes of individuals with disabilities who applied for services from the Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitation Services (VA-DARS).

Labor market impacts were estimated at the individual level, allowing identification of impacts by disability type, services, and the agency. This work generated research findings that were shared with VA-DARS to inform policies and practice for consumers with disabilities.

Findings were also disseminated through peer-reviewed journals to help inform the field regarding the potential of ROI for strategic planning, program evaluation, and improved service delivery.

In 2015, the University of Richmond successfully competed for additional NIDILRR funding for expanding and refining ROI models for additional agencies in Delaware, Maryland, Texas, and Oklahoma. This work continues to provide important information for rehabilitation professionals, policymakers, and consumers interested in improving the employment outcomes of individuals with disabilities.

To read more about the model(s), read the following publications:

  • Dean, D., Pepper, J. V., Schmidt, R. M., & Stern, S. (2015). The effects of vocational rehabilitation for people with cognitive impairments. International Economic Review, 56(2), 399–426.
  • Dean, D., Pepper, J. V., Schmidt, R. M., & Stern, S. (2014). State vocational rehabilitation programs and federal disability insurance: An analysis of Virginia’s vocational rehabilitation program, IZA Journal of Labor Policy, 3(7), 1–19.


Contact Sarah Ruiz at NIDILRR if you have questions about the DRRP Program funding mechanism.

Last modified on 02/11/2020

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