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Institute on Disability and Health Psychology  

Goals of the Institute on Disability & Health Psychology (IDHP)

  • increase the representation of people with disabilities in psychology,  
  • promote training of psychologists on the conjunction of disability studies and psychology,
  • conduct research in disability studies that informs the work of psychologists,
  • develop better understanding of multiple minority identities that include disability,
  • promote policies that foster community integration,
  • partner with community agencies and services to demonstrate efficacy, and
  • address psychosocial, economic, and political  issues that can improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities.

IDHP Institute Activities

The overriding goal is to promote social and distributive justice and improve the lives of people with disabilities. The IDHP is not a direct service provider; instead, the Institute’s activities are aimed at informing and changing systems, policies, psychologists and other mental health providers, and legislation.  More specifically, the IDHP's six main areas of activity are:

  • Policy Recommendations
  • Research
  • Education and Training
  • Dissemination of Knowledge through Publications, Fact Sheets, Workshops
  • Program Evaluation & Consultation
  • Ensuring culturally appropriate treatment of people with disabilities by mental health providers, educators, and allied professionals

Examples of Specific IDHP Activities

  • Development of a model graduate psychology course on Disability, Ethnicity & Culture.
  • Collaboration with the Northern California Multiple Sclerosis Society  on program development and evaluation. Conceptualization of chronic pain and its management for various disabilities and chronic conditions.
  • Development of training materials on disability for use in graduate psychology courses on cultural diversity.
  • Training of mental health service providers, interns and students on Disability-Affirmative Therapy. .
  • Research on microaggressions experiences by persons with disabilities.
  • Developing ethical supervision practices with clinical students with disabilities in practica and internships.
  • Theory development for research with and about persons with disabilities.  

Institute Funding

The IDHP relies on gifts and grants for its operations. Tax-deductible contributions can be made by check to Alliant International University-IDHP, a 503c organization, and mailed to:

Institute on Disability & Health Psychology
Alliant International University
One Beach Street, #100
San Francisco, CA 94131

Institute Contact Information 

IDHP Phone: 415-955-2118

IDHP Executive Director: Dr. Rhoda Olkin 

IDHP Associate Director: Dr. Diane Zelman