Webinars and Conferences

IDEAL RRTC’s goal is to promote the healthy aging of adults with long-term physical impairments and disabilities. This will be achieved by identifying factors at the intersection of the person and environment that impede or support positive health and function outcomes and creating solutions that improve the fit between the two.

IDEAL RRTC Webinar Series: Examining the Impact of COVID-19 on Adults with Physical Disabilities from Marginalized Communities

Being presented on 22 April 2021

IDEAL RRTC Webinar Series Examining the Impact of COVID-19 on adults with physical disabilities from marginalized communities Thursday April 22, 2021 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Presenters: Lisa Reber, Jodi Kreschmer, Gina DeShong

This webinar will present the findings from a recent study on the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adults with physical disabilities from marginalized communities in Southeast Michigan, one of the early pandemic epicenters in the United States. Interviews with 16 adults revealed how participants either had to engage in risky behavior to have their needs met or avoid risk and not have those needs met. They contribute to understandings of risk, its impact on physical and psychological health, and the importance of accommodations. The study expands insight into early responses to the pandemic among individuals with long-term physical disabilities from marginalized communities. It helps elucidate how socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity can differentially impact the lives of adults with physical disabilities and further marginalize a population that is “always already” vulnerable. This knowledge can expand awareness and appreciation of how social, economic, and political systems are structured and integrated into future clinical guidelines and emergency response policies and more adequately addressed.  

To register, click here.

The content of this webinar has been developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR #90RTHF0001). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this webinar do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, or HHS and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

Bios of the webinar speakers:

Lisa Reber, PhD in Justice Studies, is a qualitative researcher and postdoctoral research fellow with U-M’s IDEAL RRTC. Her doctoral research explores socio-spatial marginalization of low-wage migrant workers. As a postdoc, she is identifying the environmental factors that hinder or facilitate healthy aging among adults with long-term physical disabilities in marginalized communities.  

Ms. Jodi Kreschmer, MSW holds a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan. Born with cerebral palsy, Ms. Kreschmer is a passionate advocate for people with disabilities. She has worked with Dr. Kalpakjian on various research projects since 2015.  Her duties include qualitative coding, cognitive interviewing, and recruiting participants for various studies.

Gina DeShong, a graduate of Baker College of Flint, has worked with adults with disabilities and in employment services in various capacities since 1998. Since 2018 she has been employed at The Disability Network (TDN) first as the Information and Referral Partner, assisting individuals by providing information on community agencies and resources.  She is currently TDN Program Director.


IDEAL RRTC Webinar Series: Policy Solutions to Support Family Caregivers

Presented 27 January 2021 

banner for the event

Webinar YouTube link: Policy Solutions to Support Family Caregivers YouTube Video Link

Downloads: CART Transcript, Presentation Slides

This webinar reviewed the current state of informal or family caregiving in the United States, described the research on factors that impact caregiver stress, and discuss various policy solutions at the local, state and national level. According to the AARP, over 43 million adults currently provide unpaid care to family members or friends in the United States, with an estimated economic value of approximately $470 billion in 2017. Almost 40% of all caregivers find their caregiving situation to be emotionally stressful. When caregivers feel they had no choice in assuming their caregiving responsibilities, this percentage increases to 53%. Recent trends that shift care from institutional to home-based settings and the isolating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic are creating an even greater sense of urgency to find ways to better support caregivers.

The content of this webinar has been developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR #90RTHF0001). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this webinar do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, or HHS and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.


Partnering to Create a More Accessible Future: A Panel Conversation about Ableism and Racism in Healthcare

Presented 18 January 2021 

The University of Michigan Center for Disability Health and Wellness hosted a live panel discussion in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday January 18th, 2021. Panelists included: Mrs. Tameka Citchen-Spruce from Healthy Dearborn, Beaumont Health; Ms. Jaime Junior from Warriors on Wheels of Metropolitan Detroit, and Mr. Jeffrey Nolish from Detroit Disability PowerDr. Sheria Robinson-Lane, Assistant Professor in University of Michigan School of Nursing. The conversation was moderated by Dr. Michelle Meade, co-director of the CDHW.


Virtual Book Talk with Alice Wong, activist and editor of a new anthology “Disability Visibility"

Presented 14 October 2020

Webinar YouTube LinkVirtual book talk with Alice Wong YouTube Video




Alice Wong Disability Visibility Book Cover

A virtual conversation with Alice Wong, editor of a new anthology Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century, published by Vintage in 2020. Alice Wong (she/her) is a disabled activist, media maker, and consultant based in San Francisco. Alice was joined by Ellen Samuels, a contributor to the anthology with the essay “Six Ways of Looking at Crip Time.”










Disability Research Symposium 2020

Presented 2 October 2020

Webinar YouTube link: Disability Research Symposium 2020 YouTube video 

Downloads: Event PageEvent Schedule Flyer

The Center for Disability Health & Wellness at the University of Michigan held its inaugural Research Symposium in October 2020, uniting disability researchers from across the university. These researchers included members of the Department of Family Medicine; the School of Public Health; the W.K. Kellogg Eye Center; the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation; the Taubman Library; the Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital and UM Program for Research on Women's Health and Disability, as well as medical students who presented their own research.

The event was hosted by Michelle A. Meade, Ph.D., professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, who moderates the event, and Mike McKee, M.D., MPH, associate professor of Family Medicine at U-M. The event explored how research can be used to promote health, functioning, participation and life quality for those with disabilities. 

Professor Thomas Pearson, a leading expert in translational research and epidemiology from the University of Florida’s College of Public Health and Health Professions, served as keynote speaker. Dr. Pearson discussed how research can help those with disabilities live their best lives.

We hope you find the symposium video educational and inspirational!


Aging with Cerebral Palsy: Health Outcomes and Management

Presented 20 February 2020

With Mark D. Peterson and Heidi Haapala

Webinar YouTube link: Aging with Cerebral Palsy YouTube video 

Downloads: Webinar Summary, Question and Answers, Resources 10-Page PDF


Methods and Analytic Approaches for Identifying the Health Experiences of Physically Disabled Persons Using Administrative Claims Dataset

Part of the 2020 ICPSR 2020 Data Fair, presented on 21 September 2020

Elham Mahmoudi, Ph.D. and Neil Kamdar

Webinar YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9hay7d9ojs&feature=youtu.be

Presentation slides available athttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1UpvjptCy0vG_6nGzidK5Xms_-OXvFhc6/view 

Administrative claims datasets present both challenges and benefits in the analysis of outcomes, cost, and comorbidity burden facing physically disabled individuals. The increasing use of administrative claims represents one of many plausible answers to concerns related to small sample and single-institution studies. Longitudinal data analysis as well as outcomes and cost (insurance reimbursement and patient out-of-pocket cost as a form of financial burden) can be carefully studied using administrative claims datasets. In this webinar, we will highlight the strengths and analytic approaches in current work from the IDEAL RRTC. We will also carefully consider potential limitations in using these analytic approaches. Two different case studies will be considered with a cursory treatment of analytic approaches and population identification with inclusion and exclusion criteria with justification and rationale for these decisions. Applications of survival analysis, propensity score matching, and generalized linear models with respect to dichotomous and continuous and skewed outcomes will be discussed within the contexts of these case studies. The webinar will culminate with a summarization of the value of these studies, why they should continue to be pursued, and next steps in the evolution of claims-based research for the disabled population. The presenters, Dr. Elham Mahmoudi and Mr. Neil Kamdar are both health services researchers with extensive experience working with administrative claims as well as other secondary data sources with a focus on applied econometric and statistical methods.


Augmenting Health Research through Secondary Data Use-The National Neighborhood Data Archive (NaNDA)

Part of the 2020 ICPSR 2020 Data Fair, presented on 23 September 2020

Philippa Clarke, Ph.D., Robert Melendez, and Megan Chenoweth

Webinar YouTube link: Augmenting Health Research through Secondary Data Use-The National Neighborhood Data Archive (NaNDA)

The National Neighborhood Data Archive (NaNDA) is a repository of neighborhood contextual measures -- place-based data that quantifies the physical, demographic, economic, and/or social environment -- used to understand the role of neighborhood context and resources for population health. Most NaNDA contextual measures are created using publicly available data, such as from the Census Bureau. So why would a researcher use NaNDA instead of going directly to the primary data to obtain or create their own contextual measures? In this session, we will discuss case studies from the NaNDA repository that augment and recombine publicly available data to create novel measures to study the role of neighborhoods for health and health inequities.