About Us


The Policy Impact Project is a joint venture of the Policy and Analytics Center, under the direction of Dr. Lindsay Shea, and the Life Course Outcomes research program at the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute at Drexel University. This project was created in response to the need for changes in policy - today – to address the needs of autistic people and their families in the U.S. In some cases, the need for policy changes is specific to autism, but often, changes to policy that impact broader populations are necessary to improve outcomes for autistic people and their families.  But academics have historically focused on producing science – not disseminating it beyond the ivory tower. And policymakers do not have the time to sift through the content of scientific journals. A profound disconnect exists between the worlds of research and policy.  We aim to flip this paradigm. The Policy Impact Project will use research findings to propel systems-level policy solutions that improve the lives of people with autism and other developmental disabilities by facilitating the translation of research into policy. 

We will achieve this by building the infrastructure needed to better position research findings to inform policies and decisions that affect the lives of neurodiverse individuals. 

Our policy impact work is poised at the intersections of research and policy. Our goal is to expedite the research-to-policy pipeline by delivering research findings that inform policy and to help researchers identify policy-relevant research questions by: 

  • engaging key stakeholders, including those with lived experience  
  • conducting research that impacts policy today 
  • highlighting research findings for policymakers - to speed up and improve policy creation and implementation  
  • collaborating with researchers to prioritize research questions that inform policy 
  • providing researchers with the tools and resources they need to produce and measure the policy impact of their own research 

We want to move the needle and we need your help to do so. Will you be a part of the impact? 

Connect with us on Twitter. Send us an email at policyimpact@drexel.edu. We want to hear from interested researchers who want to translate findings and from policymakers who want to use research in their process.