Brittany van der Salm

Brittany van der Salm

Policy Analyst

Brittany is a policy analyst whose work is driven by a passion for working toward greater opportunities for and inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in our communities. Brittany mixes her time between working directly with public agency staff to balance efficiency with person-centered and community-based public services, and doing research for a 40-year study of the deinstitutionalization of people with IDD in the United States. Brittany is highly skilled in such longitudinal research, as well as in systems planning and transformation, and real-world problem solving. In addition to these efforts, Brittany has experience with evaluation, policy analysis and writing, best practice research, and assessment.

Prior to joining HSRI, Brittany held Master’s internships at two major New York nonprofits whose work focused on a wide array of supports to youth in foster care, people with IDD, families, and other populations. Prior to that, Brittany worked as an afterschool art teacher at a Portland-based nonprofit. Brittany brings this background to ongoing volunteer work with several Portland organizations that create opportunities for people with IDD to create and sell artwork of all forms.

When not at work, Brittany enjoys running, exploring Oregon, and searching documents for missing oxford commas.


  • Master of science in social work degree from Columbia University
  • Bachelor of arts degree in English from Reed College
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