IHDD works with others to create opportunities that will improve the quality of life for people with disabilities and their families. IHDD advances the understanding of the abilities of all people through education, research, and public service.

The University of Georgia is the state’s flagship institution of higher education. Chartered in 1785, the University of Georgia is the nation’s first state-chartered university. As the first land grant institution in the nation and the capstone of the Georgia Board of Regents University System, the university’s teaching, research, and service missions focus enormous resources to improve the quality of life throughout Georgia and the nation.

The Institute on Human Development and Disability (IHDD), designated as a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), is part of a national network of 68 university centers. IHDD operates with the support and advice of our Community Advisory Council. IHDD can be envisioned as stretching across Georgia, with educational programs and outreach projects touching every corner of the state. IHDD core funding is provided by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. IHDD projects are funded by multiple grants, contracts, and private scholarships.

Since 1965, the faculty, staff, and students at IHDD have provided a strong and positive force for social change. IHDD focuses on the strengths and contributions of people with disabilities and conceptualizes disability as a natural part of human existence. Disability issues are explored from infancy through aging.

We Believe

  • Individuals, families, and communities are unique and have inherent value.
  • We are all strengthened when that uniqueness is recognized, respected, and nurtured
  • Individuals and families have the right to information, their own definition of needed supports, options for choice, and the right to exercise control over their lives.
  • Individuals and families need to be connected to their communities in ways that enhance their own roots and history, and strengthen the capacity of communities to respond.
  • Supports and services for individuals and families can be developed in ways that are flexible, responsive, non-intrusive, non-judgmental, and which nourish and enhance local involvement and ownership.
  • Individuals have that right to define their own needs, have opportunities for growth and self-determination, and define their own quality of life.
  • Individuals have the right to equal opportunities to meet their own basic needs, and the right to participate in all aspects of community life, free from attitudinal, physical, and policy barriers.
  • While family is defined in many ways, its essence is its unity. The family unit is to be recognized as the primary focus of support, commitment, and love.
  • Communities have the responsibility to provide equal opportunity for participation in all aspects of community life.
  • Communities have the capacity to meet human need and to foster opportunities for awareness, relationships, and action that strengthen independence, interdependence, and community resourcefulness.
  • All people have gifts to bring to community life.


What we want to see

  • Strong families - Families that are central to individual and societal well-being.
  • Friendships and Community Membership - Children and adults with disabilities thrive when they are meaningfully included in school, work, recreation, and places of worship.
  • Economic Security and Real Jobs - Adults with disabilities want to work-and can work.
  • Human Rights - People with disabilities live as equal citizens, free from exclusion and abuse.
  • Access to Cutting-Edge Technology - Assistive technology allows individuals with disabilities to participate more fully in all aspects of life.


Meet our Staff Family