Can You Hear Me Now? Listening to People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Health Research

Image description: Stick figures are in varying shades of blue. One stick figure is in orange with a speech bubble above it saying Hear me!

The Ohio State University (OSU) Nisonger Center is establishing a rehabilitation research and training center (RRTC) to improve the health and function of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).  This five-year project is a partnership with key stakeholders and five states: Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Virginia. The Michigan Developmental Disabilities Institute (MI-DDI) will serve as the Michigan project site.  The Center's goal is to conduct research to improve the long-term health-related function and quality of life outcomes for adults with I/DD. 

Research Objectives

  • Adapt diagnostic, health, and health related quality of life measures to increase self-report in adults with IDD
  • Determine the prevalence of mental health conditions and health outcomes among adults with I/DD
  • Develop best practice guidelines for psychotherapy for adults with I/DD

Anticipated Outcomes

  • Adults with I/DD will speak for themselves in health research
  • Increase knowledge of prevalence of mental health conditions among adults with I/DD 
  • Improve understanding of health outcomes among  adults with I/DD who also have a mental health condition
  • Establish psychotherapy guidelines to advance mental health treatment for adults with I/DD

Expected Products

  • Accessible, reliable, and valid health measures for adults with I/DD
  • Guidelines on providing mental health care for adults with I/DD
  • Peer-reviewed publications, policy briefs, accessible data briefs, conference presentations, and training webinars

The OSU Nisonger Center RRTC will engage people with I/DD throughout the project to emerge as a national resource on health and function for people with I/DD.

Project Resources

Learn more about the RRTC project:



The contents of this webpage were developed as part of Michigan Developmental Disabilities Institute at Wayne State University and a Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Health and Function awarded to The Ohio State University (OSU) Nisonger Center through a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90RTHF0002-01-00). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The contents of this webpage do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, or HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.