Institute for Disability Studies and Policy


Who We Are

The Institute for Disability Studies and Policy (IDSP) is headquartered on the campus of Columbia Gorge Community College in The Dalles, Oregon.

IDSP is an integral part of Eastern Oregon Center for Independent Living (EOCIL), a global disability resource and advocacy center, and operates as the center’s chief research and policy analysis entity. IDSP is comprised of core research and policy officers, as well as an affiliated staff from EOCIL. Further, IDSP is uniquely positioned and equipped to tackle a variety of topics related to disability studies and policy as it pertains to independent living, equitable access to services and resources, and universal human rights.

What We Do

Through IDSP’s competent and energetic core research and policy officers, IDSP is prepared to provide original and meaningful research that meets the constantly changing challenges of an increasingly inaccessible and unequal global community. IDSP’s work is intended to serve as the impetus for real system change that significantly advances the independent living movement, equitable access to services and resources, and universal human rights.


Youth with Disabilities:

Current IDSP research focuses on youth with disabilities who are involved with the juvenile justice system. Through funded reports and grants, peer-reviewed articles, and research collaborations, IDSP seeks to inform and educate policymakers and community stakeholders to assist them in making decisions about youth with disabilities in a variety of contexts.

State Independent Living Council (SILC):

IDSP’s research team is currently analyzing the SILC of Oregon and comparing this body’s output and results with their colleagues nationwide. IDSP is examining potential avenues, strategies, and policy changes that would alleviate some of the waste and ineptness that can confine the Independent Living Movement.

Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD):

Contemporary research focuses on the costs and benefits of universal ratification of the CRPD and how implementation may affect current United States disability law, policy, and future advocacy. Further, IDSP researchers are examining the politics behind the ratification struggle in the United States, while comparing the success and failures of other developed western nations who have, or are in the process of, widespread application of the CRPD.

Policy Issue:
State law in Oregon [Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 419B.504 (WESTLAW through Or. 2003 Legis. Serv., Ch. 396)] currently includes an individual’s disability as grounds for termination of parental rights and specifies that intellectual or developmental, emotional, and mental health disabilities are to be considered by the courts as adequate means to end a person’s right to parent and maintain a family.  This State law is not compliant with the Independent Living Philosophy or the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) Article 23 – Respect for home and the family.

Policy Issue:
Oregon House Bill 2482  This State law may have a negative affect on people with disabilities and may be in conflict with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) Article 27 – Work and Employment.

Training and Technical Assistance:

IDSP’s team develops and provides technical assistance, training modules, and dissemination of disability-related information for individuals, groups, and CILs that focus on the advancement of the global Independent Living Movement. The IDSP team can assist individuals new to the global IL Movement and who are wishing to move from grassroots organizations to a more structured entity. The team can also assist CILs wishing to improve foundational aspects of their organizations, including the various associations of CILs who are seeking to be more progressive in advancing their global Independent Living Movement advocacy efforts.