The University of New Hampshire received a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to continue its support of the one in eight New Hampshire residents who report having a disability, including serious difficulties with vision, hearing, mobility, cognition, self-care, or independent living. The award will allow the Institute on Disability (IOD) to continue serving as New Hampshire’s designated University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD).

With the funding, the IOD will provide training to more than 10,000 current and future professionals in New Hampshire; increase access to higher education for students with developmental and other disabilities; and lead research and evaluation that advances effective interventions and services for people with disabilities.

“For more than 35 years, the IOD has provided and facilitated training, research, and services using person-centered, strengths-based, and culturally-responsive approaches,” said Kelly Nye-Lengerman, director of the IOD. “We continue to explore new and innovative ways to partner with people who have lived experiences to diversify the types of research and training we conduct. Our partnerships with the university, people, and the community allow the IOD to better serve the diverse needs of people with disabilities and their families in New Hampshire.”

The goal of the IOD is to help 12.8% of the Granite State’s population—over 170,000 people—access the services and supports they need for housing, healthcare, education, employment, and transportation. The pursuit of this goal requires the support and development of strategies and interventions that prioritize diverse voices, self-direction, and a focus on the quality of life across the lifespan.

“The IOD provides applied research, critical resources, and evidence-based practices to help individuals with disabilities and their families participate fully in their communities,” said Kirsten Corazzini, dean of UNH’s College of Health and Human Services. “I am delighted the IOD will continue building local, state, and national capacities to respond to the needs of individuals with disabilities and their families.”

The Institute on Disability was established to provide a university-based focus for the improvement of knowledge, policies, and practices related to the lives of people with disabilities and their families. The IOD is a federally designated center authorized by the Developmental Disabilities Act.

The University of New Hampshire inspires innovation and transforms lives in our state, nation, and world. More than 16,000 students from all 50 states and 71 countries engage with an award-winning faculty in top-ranked programs in business, engineering, law, health and human services, liberal arts, and the sciences across more than 200 programs of study. A Carnegie Classification R1 institution, UNH partners with NASA, NOAA, NSF, and NIH, and received $260 million in competitive external funding in FY21 to further explore and define the frontiers of land, sea, and space.