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Capitol Correspondence - 05.25.21

New Director for National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research

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To keep our members abreast of relevant members of the Biden administration, we share the following announcement by the Administration for Community Living:

“Dr. Anjali J. Forber-Pratt has joined ACL as the director of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). [Editorial note: NIDILRR is the federal government’s primary disability research agency.]

Dr. Forber-Pratt began her research career in 2006, and her primary area of expertise is disability identity development. Prior to joining ACL, she served as an assistant professor at Vanderbilt University. In addition to teaching courses and serving as a mentor to undergraduate students and thesis advisor for candidates for master’s and doctoral degrees, she served as principal investigator for research projects covering a range of disability issues, including training of special education teachers, experiences of students with disabilities at every education level, and identity development. She has authored 33 peer-reviewed journal articles and is the author or co-author of a number of textbook chapters.

A two-time Paralympian and medalist in the sport of wheelchair racing, Dr. Forber-Pratt has dedicated her life to helping others recognize their potential. Globally, she is involved with disability advocacy efforts related to access to employment, education and sports. She was honored with the inaugural American Psychological Association Citizen Psychologist Award for Advancing Disability as a Human Rights and Social Justice Issue Award in 2020 and was recognized by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education as a 2018 Emerging Scholar. In 2013, she was awarded the American Association of People with Disabilities’ prestigious Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award, given to emerging leaders within the national disability community. Also in 2013, she was named a Champion of Change by the White House and had an opportunity to participate in a roundtable discussion with President Obama about disability policy issues.”