Inclusion is one of the key research areas at KUCDD. Current projects include an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) funded study of the academic, social, communication, and behavior outcomes associated with placement for elementary students with significant cognitive disability. Other projects include research related to teacher preparation for inclusive education, including documenting the skills needed of general educators working in inclusive settings. We are also continuing work related to the involvement of students with extensive support needs in Tier 1 schoolwide positive behavior interventions and supports, including efforts to make this instruction inclusive and accessible.
Areas of Focus
Identifying features of learning contexts (classrooms, schools, school districts) that support positive student outcomes for students with extensive support needs
Identifying instructional practices to promote positive student outcomes for students with extensive support needs
Teacher preparation to implement inclusive practices including professional development for general and special education teachers in inclusive contexts
Identifying components of successful interdisciplinary collaboration between professionals working together in inclusive contexts
Interdisciplinary collaboration to support students with extensive support needs in inclusive educational contexts
Services and Supports Offered
- Consultation and partnership with school administrators, teachers, and parents to implement practices that support students to make progress in inclusive contexts
- Professional development to build capacity for inclusive education for students with extensive support needs including topics such as: high expectations, curriculum modifications, collaboration, and evidence based practices
Jennifer Kurth, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education and an Investigator at the Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities 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 providing appropriate supports and services for individual learners. Dr. Kurth’s research also examines how teachers, students, and family’s interactions support and constrain learning and socialization in general education classrooms. She also studies how teacher candidates develop their dispositions and skills in inclusive practices. Dr. Kurth’s research interests in inclusive education also include examining outcomes of inclusion in terms of skill development and quality of life indicators for students with disabilities.
Alison Zagona, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education and an Investigator at the Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities, and her research is focused on inclusive education and identifying effective instructional practices for supporting students with extensive support needs to make progress in general education contexts. Alison has specific interest in literacy instruction and adaptations for students with extensive support needs and preparing teachers to implement inclusive practices. She is passionate about ensuring school professionals are prepared with the knowledge to successfully support their students with extensive support needs to make progress while included in general education contexts.