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Martha Hodgesmith, JD

Associate Director, Research and Training Center on Independent Living
Primary office:
785-864-4095
4089 Dole Center
Lawrence, KS 66045


Professional Biography

Using her legal training to analyze the impact of laws and policies on the lives of persons with disabilities, Martha Hodgesmith develops resource materials and tools to use in making such laws more effective and participates in state and national policy initiatives. Her primary legal resource materials on key disability, health, and public benefits laws and policies have been used in continuing professional education, peer training, direct advocacy, public testimony, and in an international exchange program.

Hodgesmith has developed collaborative systems for distribution and training that have been implemented at local, regional, and national levels on vocational rehabilitation, special education, social security disability, public benefits law, elder law, Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) application to the state court system and other public entities, health care fraud, patient/abuse neglect, and public financing of community based services. Hodgesmith managed the national project Libraries and the ADA, an effort of the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies and the Kansas State Library to distribute ADA-related materials to public libraries across the United States.

She has held positions as a board member of the National Council on Independent Living, a member of the State Independent Living Council of Kansas and a member of the Kansas Supreme Court Commission on Access to the Courts. She also participated in the drafting of legislation and the lobbying efforts that resulted in passage of the Kansas Developmental Disabilities Reform Act, the primary state law affecting the rights of persons with developmental disabilities and the Kansas Medicaid Fraud Control Act, the first comprehensive Kansas criminal statute on health care fraud.

In addition, she developed and managed for three years the first Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in the state of Kansas, was a member of the CMS Fraud and Abuse Control Technical Assistance Work Group, managed state and federally supported community-based services for persons with disabilities as director of Community Supports and Services in the Health Care Policy Division of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, and was on the Board of Directors and chaired the National Policy Work Group of the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services.


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
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