Group of IHDD staff


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 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.

Fast Facts

  • IHDD ranks as one of UGA's oldest continuously-funded federal programs
  • President John F. Kennedy is responsible for the existence of IHDD and the other 66 centers known as UCEDD’s
  • People with disabilities make up about 20% of the population but are featured in less than 2% of the images we see in the media.
  • IHDD's Disability Studies Certificate Program was ranked #17 of the Top 20 Best Deals for Disability Studies by Great College Deals in 2016.

We believe in

  • Strong families - Families that are central to individual and societal well-being have inherent value.
  • 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.


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.

We just celebrated our 50th anniversary. To learn more, visit our Timeline page.

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