Research and Outreach

KU campus, research and service

Each year the faculty, staff and students of the Department of Special Education continue to contribute to the field's knowledge base through research, scholarship, resource development, service, and policy enhancement.

Our research articles on KU ScholarWorks »

Affiliated Centers & Institutes

The Department of Special Education faculty and staff operate a number of research and professional development centers and websites that benefit individuals with disabilities and their families and the professionals who serve them. Students interested in grant funding support should peruse the following sites and contact the centers/units involved in their area of interest. Department faculty who are associated with each program are listed as well.

Advanced Learning Technologies
ALTEC, the Advanced Learning Technologies in Education, creates resources, supports collaboration and resource sharing, and fosters alliances that help educators discover and use the possibilities of the Internet for both their students and for themselves.

Division of Adult Studies
Division of Adult Studies is committed to enhancing quality of life for people with disabilities or who experience societal and ecological barriers. To achieve this mission DAS performs policy analysis, research, product development, staff development, information dissemination, and program evaluation.

e-Learning Design Lab
The mission of the e-Learning Design Lab (e-DL) is to explore new uses of educational technology to enhance learning environments that meet the educational and professional development needs of society.

Infant Growth and Development Indicators for Infants and Toddlers
Infant Growth and Development Indicators for Infants and Toddlers site is dedicated to assessing the results of early intervention and early childhood special education services provided young children birth through age 3. IGDIs enable early childhood practitioners to monitor and estimate children's growth and progress, impacting intervention design, implementation, and modification at reasonable levels of training, time, and cost.

Interactive Collaborative Autism Network
The ICAN site is for anyone who lives with, teaches, or otherwise supports children and youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), including parents, teachers, and individuals with ASD.

Juniper Gardens Children's Project
JGCP began in the mid-1960s when residents of Northeast Kansas City, Kansas, joined with KU faculty to address concerns about child development in a low-income community. Together, the KCK community and JGCP have designed programs to improve the parenting, care, and instruction received by children in Kansas and throughout the country.

Kansas University Center for Developmental Disabilities
The Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities (KUCDD), established in 1969 and affiliated with the Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies and the KU Department of Special Education, is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration on Developmental Disabilities to pursue its mission to conduct research, training, technical assistance, and community service activities that enhance the quality of life, self-determination, and inclusion of Kansans with developmental disabilities and their families.

National Center for Learning Disabilities
The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) team envisions a society in which every individual possesses the academic, social and emotional skills needed to succeed in school, at work and in life. NCLD connects parents and others with essential resources, provides educators with evidence-based tools and engages advocates in public policy initiatives.

National Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports
The Center has been established by the Office of Special Education Programs, US Department of Education to give schools capacity-building information and technical assistance for identifying, adapting, and sustaining effective school-wide disciplinary practices.

Preparing Preservice Educators for Adolescent Literacy and Literacy-Centered School Reform
This site offers a compilation of resources for preservice educators, including video segments and instructional support materials that capture some of the key ideas and components that are central to improving adolescent literacy in secondary schools.

Project Providing Outreach Instruction for Special Educators
Project POISE is a personnel preparation project funded by the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. POISE personnel work in partnership with school district staff to prepare special education teachers to work in urban and/or multicultural settings.

Strategic Learning Center
SLC promotes academic and self-sufficiency for low-achieving youth. This research-based program includes tutoring, mentoring, and professional development for teachers and supports thousands of youth in Kansas and across the country.

Stratepedia (formerly Content Enhancement) provides teaching methods designed for use in general education classrooms to promote learning for all students.

The Schiefelbusch Life Span Institute
The Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies (LSI) is one of the largest and most highly regarded human development and disabilities research centers in the country. The LSI brings together scientists of diverse disciplines to study human development from its genetic origins through the final stages of life. The LSI supports basic and applied research, treatment and assessment clinics, service coordination and delivery, consultation, and training-notably, training of the next generation of scientists. The Life Span Institute's 12 centers have more than 130 programs and projects active at any one time in Kansas as well as other states. Many projects directly serve individuals, families, and communities and are located in underserved Kansas City neighborhoods and rural Kansas counties.

Transition Coalition
The Transition Coalition provides online information, support, and professional development on topics focusing on the transition from school to adult life for youth with disabilities.

Kansas Teacher Service Scholarship

More info »

Interested in how teens learn? See what one of our SPED students, Michaela Bristow, created! https://
PSA - Brain on Learning: University of Kansas, SOE 2014
Don't put your students' brains on boring… Put their brains on learning.

#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