Disability and Rehabilitation Research Coalition (DRRC)

What is the DRRC? Additional Correspondence
DRRC Recommendations  
- Summary of Recommendations  
- Comprehensive Recommendations  


What is the DRRC?

The DRRC is a coalition of national non-profit organizations committed to improving the state of rehabilitation and disability. The DRRC seeks to maximize the return on the federal investment in such research with the goal of improving the ability of Americans with disabilities to live and function as independently as possible. The Coalition plays a leadership role in increasing and leveraging federal resources devoted to disability and rehabilitation research.

DRRC Recommendations

The DRRC makes the following recommendations for expanding and improving future disability and rehabilitation research:

  • Increase federal funding significantly in various agencies performing rehabilitation and disability research.

  • Elevate the status of the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR) within the National Institutes of Health.

  • Clarify the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research’s (NIDRR’s) role to include health and function research as integrally related to employment and community participation research, or Congress may want to consider moving the health and function responsibilities to another agency.

  • Create an Office of Disability and Health in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  • Examine the role of the research programs within the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense (VA/DoD) and enhance the interaction between these programs and civilian disability and rehabilitation research capacity.

  • Expand and improve the authority of Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR) to coordinate disability and rehabilitation research among the federal agencies.

  • Develop a comprehensive government-wide strategic plan for disability and rehabilitation research.

  • Develop government-wide methods for identifying disability and rehabilitation research as well as subtopics (e.g., studies of body structure/functional deficits, activities, participation, capacity building activities, treatment and service effectiveness research) so that the magnitude and trends in disability and rehabilitation research across various agencies can be tracked.

  • Develop guiding principles for conducting disability and rehabilitation research.

  • Support a research agenda-setting summit bringing together policymakers, representatives from federal agencies, non-governmental funders of rehabilitation research, and organizations representing researchers, providers, and individuals with disabilities. The agenda should include consideration of the recommendations by Institute of Medicine (IOM) in the 1991, 1997 and 2007 reports on disability and the recommendations of the Rehabilitation Medicine Summit: Building Research Capacity (April 2005), as well as a review of the progress the nation has made in implementing these recommendations.

  • Expand support for efficacy studies documenting the benefit (including cost-benefit) of rehabilitation services, supports, treatments, and devices, including support for large scale randomized clinical trials (where appropriate).

  • Support efforts to enhance knowledge transfer so that research is more efficiently translated to practice in the rehabilitation and disability fields.

DRRC_McCain_sum.pdfDRRC Summary of Recommendations (PDF download)

DRRC_McCain_comp.pdfDRRC Comprehensive Recommendations (PDF download)

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DRRC: Additional Correspondence

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