Director of Indiana Institute on Disability and Community announces retirement

  • June 23, 2015


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- David Mank, director of the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, a federally designated Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, has announced his retirement. Mank has been director of the center since 1996.

Located on the eastern edge of the Bloomington campus, the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community is made up of seven research centers focused on different needs and issues related to developmental disabilities: the Early Childhood Center, the Center on Education and Lifelong Learning, the Center on Community Living and Careers, the Center on Aging and Community, the Indiana Resource Center for Autism, the Center for Disability Information and Referral, and the Center for Planning and Policy Studies.

Established in 1970, the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community has become a leader in transferring research and new knowledge related to disabilities from the university setting to communities in Indiana and nationally. The institute’s centers provide expertise in policy analysis, statewide training and technical assistance, service to government agencies in implementing best practices, and solidarity with families and self-advocates with disabilities.

The Indiana Institute on Disability and Community is overseen and supported in part by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at IU Bloomington.

"We thank David very much for his many years of service as director of IIDC," said Rick Van Kooten, interim vice provost for research at IU Bloomington. "Under the leadership David has provided on disability issues across the disciplines and across the lifespan, IIDC’s centers have produced excellent research and scholarship as well as provided vital training and assistance to many thousands of individuals, from developmental disability professionals to family members to people with disabilities themselves. The IIDC is truly an asset to the campus and the entire state of Indiana.”

Mank assumed the position of Indiana Institute on Disability and Community executive director from Henry J. Schroeder, who served for 25 years. A prolific writer and researcher, Mank also served as professor of special education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the IU School of Education.

“David has been a leader in the field of special education and employment of people with disabilities,” said Gerardo Gonzalez, dean of the IU School of Education. “He has made distinctive contributions to the preparation of future teachers and scholars in the field and to the IU School of Education in general. We appreciate his service to the school and know that he leaves the IIDC well-positioned to continue its leadership role serving people with developmental disabilities well into the future.”

In 2012, Mank received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, given to individuals making lifetime contributions to people with disabilities and their families. Past recipients include Eunice Kennedy Shriver and the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation.

Mank is also past president of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities and served on the board of directors of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. He received the Franklin Smith Award for National Distinguished Service from The Arc of the United States. In December 2014, Mank was appointed by Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to the U.S. Department of Labor's Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive, Integrated Employment for People With Disabilities and was subsequently elected chair of the committee.

Beginning in early fall, a search committee will launch a national search to identify, recruit and interview candidates for the position of Indiana Institute on Disability and Community executive director. The members of the search committee will be identified by end of summer. Mank will continue to serve as director during the search process.

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Joel Fosha

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