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DR's constitution calls for several standing committees to enable the Division to out its mission.  In addition, ad hoc committees are named, as needed, to address special issues and opportunities of interest to DR.  Committee membership often includes DR members as well as members of the DR Board of Directors.  DR members who are interested to finding out more about or participating on one of these committees, please contact any DR Board member or the committee chair.


This committee is responsible for maintaining an active program of membership recruitment and an active record of all DR members.  Chair of this committee is Stephen Smith.

The Publications and Media Committee reviews the publications structure of DR, including its electronic and media-based programs, and recommends publications to be issued and recommends policies and procedures related to the program's growth and development.  The Committee publishes three newsletters each year, represents DR with CEC on matters related to publications, and publicizes DR activities within the larger CEC organization.


Current members of the committee are: 


  • Bree Jimenez., University of Texas at Arlington (Chair)
  • Sally Fluhler, Western Kentucky University
  • Andy Heuer, University of Oklahoma
  • Linda Lewis, University of Oregon
  • Pamela Mims, East Tennessee State University
  • Gena Nelson, Boise State University
  • Maryam Nozari, University of Hawaii 
  • Corey Peltier, University of Oklahoma
  • John Romig, University of Texas at Arlington  

This committee considers and recommends to the Executive Board specific strategies and actions designed to enhance and improve the financial status and capabilities of the division.  The committee chair position is currently vacant.  Correspondence can be forwarded to DR President.

The Awards Committee plans and carries out a program of awards and recognition to promote and highlight the contributions of researchers in the education of children with disabilities and children with gifts and talents.  

Chaired by the immediate Past President, the Nominations and Elections Committee solicits recommendations for nominations for vacancies on the DR Executive Board and conducts the annual elections process.

The Program Committee is led by the President-Elect and is comprised of the chair of the Knowledge Utilization committee and at least one student representative. The committee is responsible for (a) participating in the Program Advisory Committee (PAC) to coordinate efforts for the annual CEC meeting, (b) soliciting and reviewing proposals for the division's allocated presentation slots for the annual meeting, and (c) planning the reception at the annual meeting. 

This committee focuses on meaningfully and strategically utilizing research knowledge regarding children, youth, and adults with disabilities, their families, and the people who work with them. Current activities include working with (a) the Division for Learning Disabilities on the DLD/DR ALERTS and (b) CEC to establish a systematic procedure for determining evidence-based practices in special education. 

This committee develops recommendations for the DR Executive Board concerning policies, programs and funding for research in the development and education of children and youth with disabilities. It also organizes activities to inform and involve researchers and other special educators in advocacy efforts to effectively communicate to governmental policymakers and stakeholders the vital role that research plays in improving services to and outcomes for children. 

Members of this committee are: 
Elizabeth Talbott, William & Mary (chair)
Michelle Cumming, Florida International University
Robin Ennis, University of Alabama
Tom Farmer, University of Pittsburgh
Angela Prince, Iowa State University
Adai Tefera, University of AZ
Student members: 
Susan Aigotti, University of VA
Elizabeth Zagata, University of CT

The Diversity Committee was designed to further two primary and interrelated objectives: to increase awareness of how research helps us understand diversity and to integrate diversity considerations into the ways we design, carry out, and evaluate research in special education. In seeking to achieve both these objectives, we actively encourage communication and collaboration with other divisions of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and related professional associations.  


The committee’s most recent work includes:

  •  Organizing an online workshop with members of the Culturally Responsive Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Lab lead by Dr. Aydin Ball. Participants watched a pre-recorded presentation and met on March 31st for a fire chat with the lab members. We had over 30 people attending and 230 people watching the pre-recorded presentation. 
  •  We proposed and drafted two new awards to promote and support the diversity of our division: The Distinguished Researcher from Underrepresented Groups Award and the Research Improving the Educational Access, Experiences, and Outcomes of BIPOC Students with Disabilities Award
  •  We conducted an audit of past awardees to identify areas of improvement in terms of diversity. 


Other noted committee work: 

  •  Increasing the Involvement of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students in Special Education Research (2015)
  •  CEC Annual Conference panel session with Drs. Kea, Ortiz, Orosco, & Waitoller
  •  Webinar on “Implementing Evidence Based Practices with Diverse Populations”  

See the December 2019 update on Diversity Committee activities we've undertaken to identify empirical studies and resources that represent the recommendations made in our 2015 white paper.


Current members of the committee are:

  • Federico R Waitoller, The University of Illinois at Chicago (Chair)
  • Haya Abdel-Latif, Doctoral candidate
  • Tisa Aceves,Loyola Marymount University 
  • Tachelle Banks, Cleveland State University
  • Brandy Gatlin-Nash, University of California, Irvine
  • Taucia González, University of Arizona
  • William Hunter, University of Memphis
  • Lakeisha Johnson, Florida State University
  • Ching-Yi Liao, National Taiwan Normal University 
  • Suki Jones Mozenter, University of Minnesota
  • Yaoying Xu, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Erica D. McCray, University of Florida
  • Kelly M. Carrero, University of Texas A&M-Commerce
  • Allison C. Nannemann, The University of New Mexico 

This Committee’s mission is threefold:

  1. To develop and propose mechanisms for including individuals with disabilities and their families in research and dissemination processes.
  2. To promote ongoing communication between research, family, and practitioner communities by assisting the research community in understanding critical issues for families of individuals with disabilities and by assisting families in accessing and interpreting research outcomes related to individuals with disabilities.
  3. To foster a research agenda that addresses critical issues regarding families of individuals with disabilities.

Members of the committee are:

  • Kathleen Kyzar, Texas Christian University (Co-Chair)
  • Tracy Gershwin, University of Northern Colorado (Co-Chair)
  • Shana J. Haines, University of Vermont 
  • Dezi Maier, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Meghan Burke, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Natalie Holdren University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Katie Shepherd, University of Vermont
  • Zachary Rossetti, Boston University
  • Teresa Aceves, Layola Marymount University 

Chaired by the Vice President, the DR Bylaws and Constitution Committee maintains the DR member approved Constitution and Bylaws, provides guidance to the DR Executive Board on Constitution and Bylaw issues, and manages revisions as needed and in accordance with the most current Constitution and Bylaws.


Current members of the committee are: 

  • Wendy Peia Oakes, Arizona State University (Chair)
  • Kathleen Lynne Lane, University of Kansas
  • Chris Lemons, Sandford University
  • Linda Lewis, University of Oregon

Committees Overview Infographic

Last Updated:  27 January, 2021

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