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Welcome to the Institute on Rehabilitation Issue

Purposes for the IRI

  • Identify and discuss field-initiated topics of importance to the public rehabilitation program.
  • Develop materials which can be used by state VR agencies and others concerned about staff development in rehabilitation.
  • Publish and disseminate the materials widely to persons who provide rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities.

Primary Study Groups

  • Nominations for members and chairpersons are solicited from the field and reviewed by the IRI Planning Committee.
  • IRI Primary Study Group (PSG) membership is an honor. IRI PSG chairpersons and members are chosen for their knowledge and expertise in the subject area under study.
  • Participation in an IRI Primary Study Group provides leadership development opportunities. The primary study group provides a forum for practicing leadership skills, such as understanding different perspectives, prioritizing, developing and implementing project plans, and negotiation and mediation.
  • Travel expenses for PSG members (except for RSA staff member and any other Federal employees) are paid by the university coordinators. The members’ employers provide release time and salary for staff members to serve on the Primary Study Groups.

IRI Process

Primary Study Group Meetings

Each Primary Study Group meets twice face to face. During those meetings, they discuss the topic from multiple perspectives, zero in on the key points, develop outlines, make writing assignments, review and revise what has been written, fill in the missing pieces, and develop a draft to submit to the National IRI Forum. Most of the actual writing and study takes place between meetings. Primary Study Group members may meet online or by teleconference between meetings to offer and receive feedback on their contributions to the document.


Each IRI document is placed on the university coordinator’s web site in an accessible and downloadable format. Copies of the documents can be downloaded free of charge. Hard copies of each IRI publication are distributed to RSA grantees and other individuals and groups with an interest in the topic.

Self-Study Course and CRC Credit

Beginning with the 29th IRI, IRI documents contain questions for self-study at the end of each chapter. After reading the document and reviewing the self-study questions, VR professionals are encouraged to take the online exam for that document. There is a small registration fee for the online exam, and CRCs are awarded upon successful completion of the exam. For access to the documents and exams, go to the university coordinators’ websites: