Elizabeth Kozleski
Professor, Chair, Department of Special Education
521 Joseph R. Pearson Hall

Professor Elizabeth B. Kozleski chairs the Special Education program at the University of Kansas. Her work theorizing systems change for equity, inclusive education, and professional learning for urban schools is well recognized nationally and internationally. Her newest book, co-edited by... more

James Basham
Associate Professor
Joseph R. Pearson Hall

James D. (Jamie) Basham, Ph.D., is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas. He earned his doctorate at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Basham’s research is focused on student learning in modern learning environments... more

Judith Carta
Professor; Senior Scientist
Juniper Gardens

Dr. Carta is Director of Early Childhood Research at the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project, a Senior Scientist in the Institute for Life Span Studies, and Professor of Special Education at the University of Kansas. Her research focuses on developing strategies to minimize the effects of poverty... more

Greg Cheatham
Associate Professor
401 Joseph R. Pearson Hall

Gregory A. Cheatham’s scholarship focuses on the provision of effective, appropriate, and equitable services for young children and families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. He has a particular interest in language diversity including bilingualism for families and children... more

Donald Deshler
Director, Center for Research on Learning, Williamson Family Distinguished Professor of Special Education
518 Joseph R. Pearson Hall

Don Deshler is the Williamson Family Distinguished Professor of Special Education and the director of the Center for Research on Learning (CRL) at the University of Kansas. Deshler serves as an advisor on adolescent achievement to several organizations including the Carnegie Corporation of New... more

Deb Griswold
Assistant Professor of the Practice
531 Joseph R. Pearson Hall

Deborah E. Griswold, is assistant professor for practice in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas. She earned her Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Kansas. She served as grant coordinator for teacher educator preparation focused on improving outcomes... more

Eva Horn
402 Joseph R. Pearson Hall

Eva M. Horn is a Professor in the Department of Special Education and an investigator for the Lifespan Institute for Developmental Disabilities (LSI). She earned her doctoral degree in Human Development with and emphasis in Special Education from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Horn was a... more

Jennifer Kurth
Assistant Professor
541 Joseph R. Pearson Hall

Dr. Jennifer Kurth is Assistant Professor of Special Education at the University of Kansas. Her academic interests include methods implementing inclusive education, including methods of embedding critical instruction within the context and routines of general education as well as methods of... more

Kathleen Lane
542 Joseph R. Pearson Hall

Kathleen Lynne Lane is a Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas. She earned her master’s degree and doctorate in education from the University of California, Riverside. Prior to entering academia, Dr. Lane served as a classroom teacher of general and special... more

Melinda Leko
Assistant Professor
Joseph R. Pearson Hall

Melinda Leko is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education. Her research centers on high-incidence disabilities, reading instruction, and special education teacher quality. Currently she is interested in better understanding how to prepare secondary teachers to deliver high... more

Edward Meyen
3061 Dole Human Development Center

Edward Meyen is a Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas and the Co-director for the e-learning Design Lab. He earned his doctoral degree from the University of Iowa in Education. Dr. Meyen has directed federally funded projects totaling in excess of 24... more

Mary Morningstar
Associate Professor
546 Joseph R. Pearson Hall

Dr. Mary E. Morningstar is an associate professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas and Director of the Transition Coalition, which offers online transition professional development and resources for secondary special educators and practitioners. Her research... more

Sally Roberts
Associate Professor, Associate Dean
214B Joseph R. Pearson Hall

Sally Roberts, Ph.D., is associate professor in the Department of Special Education and Associate Dean for Teacher Education and Undergraduate Programs at the University of Kansas. Her academic interests include individuals with significant disabilities, those with deaf-blindness, and those with... more

Suzanne Robinson
Associate Professor
544 Joseph R. Pearson Hall

Suzanne Robinson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas and the Area Coordinator for High Incidence Special Education teacher education. Dr. Robinson earned her doctoral degree with a major in Special Education and a minor in Cognitive... more

Wayne Sailor
Professor, Director Schoolwide Integrated Framework for Transformation (SWIFT) CenterAssociate Director Beach
3142 Haworth Hall

Dr. Wayne Sailor’s academic pursuits are focused on comprehensive school reform at the elementary and middle school levels. He has done extensive research within the framework of multi-tiered systems of support and response to intervention (MTSS/RTI). Much of this research has been... more

Karrie Shogren
Associate Professor/Associate Scientist
539 Joseph R. Pearson Hall

Karrie A. Shogren, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education. Dr. Shogren's research focuses on self-determination and systems of support for students with disabilities and she has a specific interest in the multiple, nested contextual factors that impact student... more

Richard Simpson
522 Joseph R. Pearson Hall

Richard L. Simpson is Professor of Special Education at the University of Kansas where he has directed numerous University of Kansas and University of Kansas Medical Center demonstration programs for students with autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities and coordinated a variety of... more

Thomas Skrtic
525 Joseph R. Pearson Hall

Thomas M. Skrtic, Ph.D., is professor of education in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas. His academic interests are classical pragmatism, institutional theory, and democratic social reform, which inform several of his published works, including Behind Special... more

Sean Smith
Associate Professor
538 Joseph R. Pearson Hall

Sean J. Smith holds the rank of Associate Professor of Special Education at the University of Kansas. Dr. Smith has a background in the area of special education and technology, specifically towards the integration of technology across teacher preparation programs. He has authored and presented... more

Barbara Thompson
Associate Professor
404 Joseph R. Pearson Hall

Barbara Thompson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education and Affiliate Faculty at the Center for Latin American Studies. She focuses particularly on the education of infants and young children with a particular interest in designing learning supports for children with... more

Jason Travers
Assistant Professor
547 Joseph R. Pearson Hall

Jason Travers is an assistant professor in the special education department at Kansas University. Jason earned his doctorate at University of Nevada Las Vegas and is a former public school special educator for learners with autism. He researches the effects of shared active surface technology on... more

Ann Turnbull
Co-Director, Beach Center on Disability Senior Scientist, Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Stu, Ross and Marianna Beach Distinguished Professor
3111H Haworth Hall

Dr. Ann Turnbull has been a professor, teacher, researcher, and advocate for individuals with disabilities, their families, and service providers for 4 decades. She is currently the Ross and Marianna Beach Distinguished Professor of Special Education and Co-director of the Beach Center on... more

Michael Wehmeyer
Professor, Department of Special Education; Executive Director, Kansas University Center on Develo
537 Joseph R. Pearson Hall

Brief Biography:

Michael L. Wehmeyer, Ph.D. is Professor of Special Education; Director, Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities; and Senior Scientist and Co-Director, Beach Center on Disability, all at the University of Kansas. Dr. Wehmeyer has directed externally funded... more

Kansas Teacher Service Scholarship

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Special Education Events
The Lawrence Journal World's article about Ann and Rud Turnbull! Ann and Rud Turnbull just wanted other people with disabilities to have the same type of "enviable life" their son had. When Jay Turnbull was born in the late 1960s, that didn't seem possible. Children with disabilities were often withheld food and water in the hopes they would just die. They were given shock treatment to "fix" their bad behavior. They were institutionalized. Ann and Rud helped Jay, who died in 2009 at the age of 41, have a full, happy life. And the two longtime Kansas University professors did a lot to ensure that other people with disabilities would as well. The Turnbulls are retiring after careers that spanned more than three decades at KU and included the creation of the university's Beach Center on Families and Disability. Their legacy will live on long after they're gone because of the impact they made on disability law, research and practice in America, their colleagues say. "The real beneficiaries of their contributions are the millions of families who have been helped by the more liberating and humane legislation, social policies and attitudes now in place for people with disabilities," said Alice Lieberman, a professor of social welfare at KU. "No one has done more to usher in the possibility of an enviable life for children and adults with disabilities than Ann and Rud." The Turnbulls met in North Carolina, where Rud was an attorney and law professor and Ann a special educator. But it was Jay, who had severe intellectual and emotional disabilities, who really opened their eyes to the struggles of people with disabilities and their families. At the time, KU was already a national leader in the field of special education, largely thanks to the work of professor Dick Schiefelbusch, the founding director of the Institute for Life Span Studies that now bears his name. When the Turnbulls came to KU in the early 1980s, Schiefelbusch gave them the freedom to develop their own lines of study and research. "The wide open sky of the Kansas geography has been the wide open sky of possibilities at KU," said Ann, whom one colleague described as a "warm, gracious Southerner with a great sense of humor" and whose husband was described by this colleague as "very charming, in a Cary Grant sort of way." "It started with some very strong leaders who believed not in saddling people with explicit tasks but supporting them to have a big vision and to implement it." Rud, who never intended to work on the area of disability before Jay came along, went on to use his legal expertise to help create state and federal laws that improved the treatment, medical care and education of people with disabilities. Jay's influence also reoriented Ann's career more toward improving the quality of life for loved ones of people with disabilities. This eventually led her and her husband to found the Beach Center on Families and Disability. Rud calls Jay "our best professor." "Rud and Ann have done extraordinary work for the disabled," former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., said in a statement. "I have worked with them on a number of occasions, and I want to wish them a happy and well-deserved retirement." Along the way, the Turnbulls started a corporation, Full Citizenship, that helped people with disabilities live independently. And Jay's relationship with two KU undergraduates, Pat Hughes and Cory Royer, led to the creation of Natural Ties, a national student organization that pairs college students with community members with disabilities. "There was this wonderful interaction between the teaching, the research, Jay's life, our career interests and Lawrence that was five or six stars in this constellation, and they all came together," Rud said, adding that it all happened at a time when the national disability-rights movement was gaining steam. "I don't want to say it was the Age of Aquarius, but it was pretty close." Elizabeth Kozleski, chair of the department of special education at KU, noted that after it became apparent that special education was readily available to white, advantaged families, the Turnbulls turned to their attention to making sure minorities had the same access to it. Kozleski added that the couple paved for the way for and inspired generations of students, from around the world, to enter the field of special education. The Turnbulls have received many honors throughout their careers. They're currently preparing for a trip to the Middle East this month to receive an international award for disability research from the king of Saudi Arabia. "Even as they depart, I have a very strong feeling we haven't seen the last of them here," said Schiefelbush, 96, who still lives in Lawrence. The Turnbulls wouldn't disagree. Even as they plan to spend a few years in North Carolina so they can truly retire, they know there's still more advocacy to be done. "Because disability is a form of the civil rights movement, there always will be more work to do," Rud said. "I want ours to be a culture that dignifies people with disabilities, not just because they have rights, but because they're inherently worthy." "We have law. We have excellent research. We have excellent practice," he added. "Now the job is to change the culture."
Tri State Webinar TASN autism and assistive technology https://t.co/ULUOUECWKx

#1 public program in nation for special education
—U.S. News & World Report
2nd nationwide for most published journal articles in special education
Wayne Sailor directs KU’s largest grant, the $24.5 million SWIFT project, to develop a national center to assist schools
A $2.5 million grant will fund research on reasons effective technology tools are underused for students with disabilities