Former Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) member Anjali Forber-Pratt, Ph.D., has joined the Administration for Community Living (ACL) as the new director of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). Prior to the new role, Forber-Pratt was assistant professor of Human & Organizational Development within Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College.
Forber-Pratt began her research career in 2006, and her primary area of expertise is disability identity development. In addition to teaching courses at Vanderbilt and serving as mentor to undergraduate students and thesis advisor for candidates for master’s and doctoral degrees, she served as principal investigator for research projects covering a range of disability issues, including training of special education teachers, experiences of students with disabilities at every education level, and identity development. She has authored 33 peer-reviewed journal articles and is the author or co-author of a number of textbook chapters.
A two-time Paralympian and medalist in the sport of wheelchair racing, Forber-Pratt has dedicated her life to helping others recognize their potential. Globally, she is involved with disability advocacy efforts related to access to employment, education and sports. She was honored with the inaugural American Psychological Association Citizen Psychologist Award for Advancing Disability as a Human Rights and Social Justice Issue Award in 2020 and was recognized by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education as a 2018 Emerging Scholar. In 2013, she was awarded the American Association of People with Disabilities’ prestigious Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award, given to emerging leaders within the national disability community. Also in 2013, she was named a Champion of Change by the White House and had an opportunity to participate in a roundtable discussion with President Barack Obama about disability policy issues.