Research, Evaluation & Policy Analysis

The Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD), Iowa’s University Center for Excellence in Disabilities (UCEDD), has a distinguished history of research designed to investigate the factors affecting disabilities and to support people with disabilities in living their lives to the fullest. Research, policy analysis and evaluation activities that advance the health or full community participation of people with disabilities continues to be an integral part of CDD's mission. Working with partners such as Iowa's Department of Public Health, Department of Human Services, and Department of Education, CDD has secured substantial research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and private foundations.

If you are not able to access any of our research materials, please get in touch with the Disabilities Resource Library at CDD for assistance.

Research Index

The breadth of research has been impressive, with CDD faculty, staff, and trainees undertaking investigations in areas such as:

  • Aggression, Self-Injury, and Destructive Behavior
  • Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders
  • Augmentative Communication
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Brain Injuries
  • Down Syndrome
  • Early Identification of Developmental Disabilities
  • Health Care Disparities for Children and Adults with Disabilities
  • Health Promotion for People with Disabilities
  • Health Provider Training to Improve Care of Persons with Disabilities
  • Intellectual Disabilities
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Neurobehavioral Outcomes in Prematurity
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Telemedicine/Telehealth

Medicaid Claims and Employment Research

The University of Iowa Public Policy Center researched the effects of employment on health care costs of Medicaid members. The dramatic results show that Medicaid members with disabilities participating in Iowa’s Medicaid for Employed Persons with Disabilities (MEPD) program and covered only by Medicaid have $161 per month lower Medicaid claims than Medicaid members who are not participating in MEPD. By multiplying the average saving of $161 per month by the 129,259 eligible months for MEPD members covered during the study period, we estimate the cost reductions are over $20 million during 2011. Cost reductions for MEPD participants also covered by Medicare are estimated to be twice that much. Read more about the Costs of Health Care study.