(approved by the Board of Directors on 07/12/2016, minutes no. 66)

The DRC - Disability Research Center was established at the University of International Studies of Rome - UNINT on 7 December 2016 to respond to a national need to start active monitoring of diagnostic, rehabilitative and educational paths aimed at taking burden of disability. The study of neurodevelopmental disorders in the last four years has allowed for an in-depth study of new research models in the fields of developmental and educational psychology, neuroscience, teaching and special education.

Objectives and target audience

The goal of the DRC is to carry out applied research in the fields of epidemiology, prevention, rehabilitation and educational psychology. This research activity is, moreover, supported by a specific training offer. Interlocutors and recipients of the Centre's activities are public bodies (ASL, schools, rehabilitation centres), parent associations and all operators in the sector who intend to support research or pursue specific training in the psycho-pedagogical area through the following focus:

  • classification and diagnosis of neurodevelopmental disorders (autism, BES, intellectual disability, etc.);
  • functional assessment for the drafting of rehabilitation treatment plans and individualized educational projects (PEI);
  • Intervention models and operational strategies for the treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders;
  • evaluation of outcomes and social inclusion in school and work.

Research activities

The Centre's activities, in collaboration with public and private bodies, have supported the development of the following areas:

  • reconstruction of innovative models of study and interpretation of cognitive and learning processes in the field of Neuroscience;
  • in-depth study of the issues of typical and atypical development, through the active study of the main cognitive functions;
  • identification of innovative teaching and rehabilitation methodologies aimed at encouraging the development of communicative, cognitive and inclusive strategies in the main disability situations;
  • development of scientifically validated aids to enhance augmentative/alternative communication and the use of sign language;
  • introduction of new Parent Traning and Peer Tutoring models;
  • creation of standardized and useful tools for functional assessment and the implementation of rehabilitation/PEI programs.


Scientific chair

Alessandro Frolli
Child neuropsychiatrist and PhD in Science
of behavior and learning processes, UNINT

Scientific coordinator

Sara Rizzo
Sociologist and expert in Special Education and Teaching, UNINT

Help desk

Thanks to the Listening Desk, the Research Center supports the development of identity and subjectivity through active and constant listening to the individual in order to make the study path and the construction of the social personality of the students easier. Find out more in the dedicated section below link.

The Research Center actively participates in the Aracne psycho-pedagogical in-depth editorial series “Development, Education and Neurodevelopmental Disorders”.
As part of this series, the following volumes have been published: ABA Manual for Behavioral Technicians, Special Education, Disability Study and Life Project, Learning Maps, Manual of Developmental and Educational Psychology, available at the following link.

The Research Center in collaboration with Garage/94 and Walk On School has developed an innovative App to support parents, teachers and therapists in teaching facilitated signs for communication in individuals with disabilities. The InSegnami App can be downloaded for free on Google Play e Apple Store.

October 7th 2022
Specific Learning Disorders: from identification to intervention

13 May 2021
The screen that unites and divides

June 30, 2017 - July 02, 2017
Autism Network and Best Practices – Summer Session in Italy


The DRC Research Center has activated a Parent Training course aimed at parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the headquarters of the University of International Studies of Rome - UNINT. The course includes modules of 4 training sessions on specific thematic areas divided as follows:

  • Mod.1 – Autism: Causes, Early Diagnosis, Clinical Symptoms, Starting Treatment;
  • Mod.2 – ABA and Autism: What is ABA, Basic Procedures, Pairing, Educational Control;
  • Mod.3 – Verbal Behavior: Functional Communication, Verbal Operants, Traning Mand, ITT;
  • Mod.4 – Management of Maladaptive Behaviors: CDs, Functional Analysis, proactive procedures, reactive interventions.