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


Advancing Health Equity for Adults with Disabilities from Diverse Communities Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (AHEAD-DC RRTC)

AHEAD DC Logo Mark

In 2022, the Center for Disability Health and Wellness received a five-year grant dedicated to enhancing the health and functioning of individuals with physical, cognitive, sensory, and developmental disabilities from diverse communities. Funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), it examines and begins to 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.

Investigating Disability factors and promoting Environmental Access for healthy Living Rehabilitation Research and 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)

MI SCIMS Logo Seal

The University of Michigan was part of the Model Systems from 1985 to 2021. The MI-SCIMS project was established under the Center for Disability Health and Wellness in September 2022 and is funded by NIDILRR (#90SIMS018). MI-SCIMS aims to expand and enhance health management for all individuals living—and aging—with SCI in Michigan and throughout the United States.

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.