An influential social scientist and expert on disability in America, David Braddock is the founding chair of the University of Illinois at Chicago Department of Disability and Human Development and of its research institute, the Institute on Disability and Human Development. Braddock has been instrumental in expanding the University's academic, research, and public service programs in disability studies. His work has prompted organizations throughout the United States to help people with disabilities become more integrated into community life. His research has been used extensively by federal and state legislative bodies, the courts, the health care industry, and other university-based researchers.
Braddock’s research interests include the comparative study of disability services in the American states, the history of social and public policy toward disability in the U.S., the deinstitutionalization and community living of persons with developmental disabilities in Illinois and nationally; and health promotion and disease prevention for developmentally disabled individuals.