The Institute on Disabilities at Temple University is one of the sixty-seven University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


  • Equal Justice for People with Developmental Disabilities - Providing information, training and products which focus on the interaction between the criminal justice system and people with disabilities.
  • Emergency Preparedness - Helping Pennsylvanians with disabilities, families and support personnel think about and prepare for emergencies.
  • Deconstructing Racism and Ableism in the School-to-Prison Pipeline - Innovative intervention and community training project addressing the reality that race and disability and disability are important factors in the continuation of the school-to-prison pipeline. Project partner: Racial Empowerment Collaborative at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Inclusive Health Equity - NEW— Funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Controland Prevention (CDC), and in partnership with Temple University’s College of Health Sciences, this project will strive to ensure health equity for Pennsylvanians with disabilities, who are aging, and those with mental health issues.
  • Leadership Development - Competence and Confidence Partners in Policymaking: C2P2, C2P2 Early Intervention and Families First Leadership training for adults and parents of children/young adults living with intellectual disabilities and/or on the autism spectrum, providing up-to-date information and skill building about leadership, self-determination and early intervention.

Assistive Technology Services

The Institute is home to TechOWL, Pennsylvania’s Assistive Technology Act program. TechOWL programs help people with disabilities explore, find, and get the tools and technology they need to lead a productive life in the home, community and at work.  

Activities include:

  • Borrowing devices from the Lending Library
  • Providing devices demonstration
  • Receive a free special phone
  • Find a used device at low cost or free
  • Receive equipment for people who are deaf and blind
  • Schedule a training or presentation
  • Get a custom-made device


  • College of Direct Support - Online curriculum designed for Direct Support professionals (DSPs) who support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Disability Studies at Temple University - Interdisciplinary collaboration offering accredited programs, lectures, performances, symposia and more—inclusive programming with great diversity in both scholars and students, including the Disability Studies Graduate Certificate.
  • Leadership & Career Studies - A four-year certificate program providing young adults with intellectual disabilities an authentic college experience at Temple while developing academic abilities, career aspirations, work skills and independence.
  • The Mini Course Lecture Series on Disabilities - Hosts guest speakers and lecturers–experts in Disability Studies, Assistive Technology, Leadership Development, Social Policy and more.


Employment Here and Now - Works to support transition age youth with intellectual/developmental disabilities in the North Philadelphia area to achieve long-, part- or full-time employment; and to increase employment outcomes by directly connecting with employment agencies to collaborate efforts to help increase the number with disabilities in the workforce. Funded through LNPWI (Lenfest North Philadelphia Workforce Initiative).

Media Arts and Culture

Arts initiatives and working collaboratively with university and community-based arts organizations and practitioners to create innovative, fully accessible cultural programming, including oral history, archival preservation, documentary, exhibition and public performance.


  • Person Directed Services (PDS) - New goals for this project provide ways for people with disabilities, families and the generic community to learn from one another through community conversations, expanded resources and sharing stories.
  • HCBS–Home and Community Based Settings Final Rule - Sharing information about the Rule which provides new opportunities for people with disabilities to have the kinds of community services they want.

Research and Evaluation

The Institute's informed perspective brings together the best of working in community networks, successful program exploration and academic knowledge of best practices.

  • IM4Q: Independent Monitoring for Quality - Collecting and disseminating information that might help improve the quality of life of people with disabilities.

Core Functions

  • Technical Assistance (TA) - Providing TA to Pennsylvanians with disabilities, family members, educators, DSPs and other professionals
  • Research - Conducting research and disseminating results in both academic and plain-language formats
  • Information Dissemination - Creating materials and information, both traditional and virtual, that are fully accessible
  • Pre-Service Training - Opportunities for graduate and research assistants each semester, representing disciplines across all Temple colleges

Contact Us

Institute on Disabilities, College of Education and Human Development
Ritter Annex 4, Room RA 430, 1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19122  

215-204-1356 voice