Departments
Special education program group

Department faculty and staff smile as they pose at a conference

Mission

Our mission is to make a difference in the lives of children, youth, and adults with disabilities through research, teaching and service. Our faculty, students, university colleagues and community partners work together to generate knowledge, investigate effective strategies, disseminate evidence-based practices, advocate for individuals and their families, and promote exemplary programs. Our two affiliated centers, the Partnership for People with Disabilities and the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, provide significant service via local, state, national and international research, technical assistance, personnel development and advocacy.

Research

Faculty and doctoral students actively engage inĀ research across the lifespanĀ in a wide array of areas. Current research initiatives include: early learning environments for culturally and linguistically diverse children, behavior problem prevention in early childhood, youth violence prevention, self-determination and transition, autism spectrum disorders, adolescent/adult employment and self-sufficiency, impact of disability policy on youth transition, post secondary education for young adults with intellectual disabilities, adults with learning disabilities, and community engagement for personnel preparation.

Connect with us

For more information about our special education program group, please contact:

Colleen Thoma, Ph.D.
Department of Counseling and Special Education chair
Phone: (804) 828-1332
Email: cathoma@vcu.edu

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Read our most recent blog posts

Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District
Jan. 30, 2017

The issue is: What is the level of educational benefit that school districts must confer on children with disabilities to provide them with the free appropriate public education guaranteed by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (2004) […]

DECONSTRUCTING THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: RESULTS, POLICY IMPLICATIONS, AND DISABILITY ADVOCACY IN THE NEW TRUMP ERA
Nov. 17, 2016

How will the Presidential Election results affect P-20 public education, special education, and disability advocacy? Over the next four years, new Washington leadership is likely to change many federal and state programs and policies including the role and responsibilities of the U.S. Department of Education. […]