Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU) Program
A good rehabilitation program should provide the comprehensive resources necessary to achieve an advanced level of independence once a patient is discharged. TIRR Memorial Hermann provides this vital support system through a program called Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU), established in 1977.
Grounded in advocacy, the ILRU program at TIRR Memorial Hermann is a community-focused model, rather than a medical model. The program is led by Lex Frieden, regarded worldwide as one of the leading experts in disability policy and the current chairperson of the board of the National Council on Disability (NCD) and president of Rehabilitation International.
The ILRU staff works with independent living centers and other disability-focused organizations around the country to increase opportunities for people with disabilities to live more independently. They do this through research, education and consultation, concentrating their efforts on:
- Promoting the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of people with disabilities, which enables them to lead productive lives
- Promoting communities free of physical, financial, social and communications barriers
- Promoting social justice for people with disabilities
Information Resource on the Americans with Disabilities Act
ILRU also serves as a comprehensive information resource on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Housed at ILRU, the ADA Resource Center provides training, technical assistance and informational resources to employers, consumers, architects, businesses, media and disability organizations.
To help fulfill its mission of creating opportunities for independence through research, education and consultation, ILRU is funded through private foundation grants and grants from numerous public agencies, including the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor.