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Mathematica’s Center for Studying Disability Policy
Selected to Participate in New SSA Disability Research Consortium

Contact: Jennifer de Vallance, (202) 484-4692

WASHINGTON, DC—August 8, 2012—For over two decades, Mathematica Policy Research has been a leader in research on disability policy issues. The company directed some of the first rigorous evaluations of employment support programs for people with disabilities and the largest surveys of people with disabilities. In 2007, Mathematica established the Center for Studying Disability Policy (CSDP) to increase the visibility of disability policy issues and to strengthen the company’s ability to provide policymakers with the evidence they need to improve outcomes for people with disabilities while reducing government expenditures for their support.

Mathematica is pleased to announce that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has named the CSDP as one of two policy research centers that will lead the agency’s new Disability Research Consortium (DRC). Funded at $2.2 million in the first of a five-year cooperative agreement, the CSDP will develop new research with a team of disability policy experts and researchers at Mathematica as well as the University of Illinois-Chicago, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Virginia Commonwealth University. The CSDP’s work under the DRC will be directed by Dr. David Stapleton and co-directed by Dr. Gina Livermore. The university partners will be led by Dr. Judith Cook, Dr. Alexis Henry, and Dr. John Kregel. SSA awarded a second cooperative agreement for the DRC to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The CSDP and its partners in the DRC will build the evidence base to support policy improvements for three disability populations:

  • Workers After the Onset of a Significant Medical Condition.  Led by Dr. Stapleton, research involving this population will examine and highlight policies and programs that help workers maintain or return to employment after the onset of significant, long-term medical conditions.
  • People with Significant Chronic Conditions and Long-Term Impairments.  Led by Dr. Crystal Blyler, research in this area will explore approaches to helping individuals with chronic conditions maximize their employment potential, self-sufficiency, and well-being while reducing their dependence on public benefits.
  • Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities.  Led by Dr. Thomas Fraker, this work will consolidate and build on the body of knowledge on effectively promoting positive adult outcomes for youth and young adults with disabilities.

Under the Disability Research Consortium, the CSDP will also:

  • Expand its dissemination activities and vehicles, such as issue briefs, its website, and external presentations under the leadership of Dr. Livermore and Jennifer de Vallance.
  • Offer fellowship and grant opportunities to graduate students and post-graduates under the leadership of Dr. Lisa Razzano and Dr. Jody Schimmel.

About Mathematica: Mathematica Policy Research seeks to improve public well-being by conducting studies and assisting clients with program evaluation and policy research, survey design and data collection, research assessment and interpretation and program performance/data management. Its clients include foundations, federal and state governments and private-sector and international organizations. The employee-owned company, with offices in Princeton, NJ; Ann Arbor, MI; Cambridge, MA; Chicago, IL; Oakland, CA; and Washington, DC; has conducted some of the most important studies of disability, health care, nutrition, education, international, family support, employment, and early childhood policies and programs.