The U-M CDHW was developed in response to numerous interdisciplinary collaborations and the passion and commitment of faculty and staff from across the University of Michigan who are committed to working to enhance healthcare access and quality for individuals with disabilities throughout the lifespan.  While the it was built on the collaborations of several projects, three collaborative research grants have been particularly important in its creation and creation - the IDEAL RRTC, the TIKTOC RERC and the U-M Synergy grant.

Investigating Disability factors and promoting Environmental Access for healthy Living Rehabilitation Research Training Center (IDEAL RRTC) 


IDEAL RRTC was established in September 2018 through a five-year award from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) (#90RTHF0001). Through research and knowledge translation activities, the mission of the IDEAL RRTC has been to understand and enhance healthy aging for people with long-term physical disabilities, especially those at risk for poorer outcomes because of lack of resources, severity of disability, location or other circumstances.

Michigan Spinal Cord Injury Model System (MI-SCIMS)

The MI-SCIMS project was established in September 2022 and is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). MI-SCIMS is one of 18 spinal cord injury (SCI) Centers of Excellence for SCI Research and Clinical Care in the United States. MI-SCIMS aims to expand and enhance health management for all individuals living—and aging—with SCI in Michigan and throughout the United States.

The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Equity in Health and Functioning for Adults with Physical, Cognitive, Sensory, and Developmental Disabilities from Marginalized Communities

In 2022, the Center for Disability Health and Wellness was awarded a five-year grant dedicated to enhancing the health and functioning of individuals with physical, cognitive, sensory, and developmental disabilities from marginalized and underserved communities. Funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), aims to examine and address systemic issues in health care that negatively affect people with disability with intersecting identities, who are more likely to experience compounding inequities, discrimination, and health disparities.

University of Michigan Synergy Grant

Synergy Award Logo

The U-M Center for Disability Health and Wellness was recipient of a 2020 Accelerating Synergy grant award from the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR) to support interdisciplinary research teams in pursuing external multi-component NIH large-scale grants. This grant will help position the U-M Center for Disability Health and Wellness to grow and submit a planning grant to the NIH in 2021 or 2022. The associated research project translates and applies the ideas, investigations and analyses from the IDEAL RRTC and individuals with physical disabilities to investigations of adults with with long-term sensory disabilities. Grant funds will primarily be used to engage and support the time and effort from data analysts so that we can produce papers that demonstrate interdepartmental collaboration and build the case to support a an NIH center on Health and Healthcare Disparities among Individuals Aging with Disabilities.

University of Michigan Technology Increasing Knowledge: Technology Optimizing Choice Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (TIKTOC RERC)

TIKTOC RERC, which was funded by NIDILRR (#90RE5012) from 2013 to 2020, was a collaboration of clinicians and researchers conducting research to facilitate the development of accessible, relevant and innovative technology. In particular, the RERC was focused on the development of mHealth technology to enhance the self-management of health and independence of teenagers and young adults with physical, cognitive, and neurodevelopmental disabilities.

This research project has ended.