Interdisciplinary Collaborations


Through Interdisciplinary Research and Training Agreements (IRTAs), joint activities between the Institute for Human Development (IHD) and other academic units within the University of Missouri-Kansas City are planned. IRTAs are working documents that provide the mechanism for detailing and realizing collaborative research and training goals and activities. The purpose of these agreements are to maintain established and build new linkages focused on improving quality of life for individuals experiencing barriers to needed services and supports due to disability, poverty, age, cultural difference, or other disparities.

  • Project Contact – Alexis Petri, 816.235.5872
  • Project Period – Ongoing

Core Functions

Applied Research

To jointly engage in community-based, participatory, and translational research focused on improving the health and well-being of individuals experiencing disparate outcomes through current health systems.

Information Dissemination

To jointly disseminate products and materials.

Interdisciplinary Personnel Preparation

To jointly provide interdisciplinary educational opportunities for UMKC affiliates that strengthens the knowledge- and skill-base of practitioners. Such opportunities include academic-service learning and infusion of disability-related knowledge into courses cross-disciplines.

Program Need and Historical Context

Fundamental to interdisciplinary training is the belief that an integrated, interdisciplinary, and collaborative approach is imperative to the preparation of professional leaders working with individuals of diverse backgrounds and abilities in inclusive communities. This approach is manifest in the array of personnel preparation opportunities. A pool of discipline coordinators from partnering academic units have been vital to the development of interdisciplinary collaborations resulting in expanded opportunities for personnel preparation across professional fields focusing on improving the quality of life of people with disabilities.

Consumer and Community Involvement

Community members (including service providers, family members, and individuals with disabilities) partner in interdisciplinary training by assisting with course instruction, working one-on-one with trainees through academic service-learning, and including trainees in professional development experiences.

Significant Project Activities and Outcomes

  • Collaborate in the development of research and/or project proposals in shared interest areas pertaining to community inclusion.
  • Collaborate in the development and dissemination of products and materials that result from joint research and training.
  • Collaboratively identify appropriate courses for infusion with content relevant to health disparities experienced by individuals of diverse ethnicity, race, ability, and economic status.
  • Seek opportunities to involve faculty and UMKC students in interdisciplinary training, research and technical assistance activities.
  • Provide, by arrangement, instructors/guest lecturers/presenters for classes or other instructional forums.
  • Collaboratively provide cross-discipline training opportunities for pre-service professionals to better prepare them for interdisciplinary work in promoting the health and well-being of individuals of diverse economic status, cultural backgrounds, and/or abilities.

Institute’s Role

  • Facilitate the development of Interdisciplinary Research and Training Agreements (IRTA) and coordinate efforts
  • Provide faculty with expertise in disabilities to co-teach courses or serve as guest lecturers
  • Providing trainee opportunities for students across professional disciplines
  • Seek opportunities to build new partnerships and expand upon existing partnerships with the purpose of improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities


  • Interdisciplinary Research and Training Agreements
  • Course infusion materials
  • Database of agencies and organizations focused on serving people with disabilities and their families as potential training/education settings



Increased capacity of interdisciplinary and translational research and education.


Interdisciplinary knowledge and skills.


Collaborative program development leveraging additional funding streams.