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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)
  • Linda Lewis, University of Oregon
  • Pamela Mims, East Tennessee State University
  • Gena Nelson, Boise State University
  • Corey Peltier, University of Oklahoma
  • Andy Heuer, University of Oklahoma
  • Maryam Nozari University of Hawaii   

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.  The committee chair is David Houchins.  

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. Committee chair is Sarah Powell, University of Texas at Austin. Committee co-chair, Jessica Toste, University of Texas at Austin.

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. The committee chair is DR's representative to the CEC Children and Youth Action (CAN) Network, Betsy Talbott.

Members of this committee are: 
Elizabeth Talbott, William & Mary (chair)
Thomas Farmer, University of Pittsburgh 
Adai A. Tefera, University of Arizona 
Linda Lewis, University of Oregon


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:

  • Developing a position statement (2015) “Increasing the Involvement of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students in Special Education Research
  • Sponsoring a CEC Annual Conference panel session discussing the position statement including Dr. Cathy Kea, Dr. Alba Ortiz, Dr. Michael Orosco, & Dr. Federico Waitoller
  • Sponsoring a webinar on “Implementing Evidence Based Practices with Diverse Populations”
  • Spotlighting relevant resources for DR’s Newsletter encouraging research practices that increase the involvement of CLD students in special education research.

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, University of Illinois of Chicago (Chair)
  • Tisa Aceves, Professor, Loyola Marymount University 
  • Tachelle Banks, Professor, Cleveland State University
  • Yaoying Xu, Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Taucia González, Assistant Professor, University of Arizona
  • Federico Waitoller, Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Brandy Gatlin-Nash, Assistant Professor, University of California, Irvine
  • William Hunter, Associate Professor, University of Memphis
  • Lakeisha Johnson, Assistant Professor, Florida State University
  • Ching-Yi Liao, Post Doctoral Scholar, University of Central Florida
  • Suki Jones Mozenter, Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota

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, (Co-Chair)
  • Tracy Gershwin, (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
  • Tracy Gershwin, University of Northern Colorado
  • Kathleen Kyzar, Texas Christian University
  • Katie Shepherd, University of Vermont
  • Zachary Rossetti, Boston 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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