SRI Education’s disability and inclusion program is serving millions of students and their families
SRI Education has been a leader in disability education research and technical assistance since the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was passed in 1975. We combine our unique understanding of the multiple systems serving students with disabilities and their families with our developmental and pedagogical expertise across disability categories and age ranges to help educators increase learning and accessibility. Our researchers and technical assistance providers help policymakers, program leaders and educators reduce educational barriers and ensure inclusive classrooms for children, youth and adult learners with disabilities. We do this by evaluating the effectiveness of interventions, conducting longitudinal studies that inform programs and policies, developing accessible technologies and alternative assessments and providing technical assistance.
Our disability and inclusion program for education
SRI Education’s mission is to advance disability inclusion and reduce barriers, recognizing that evidence-based approaches that promote successful outcomes for students with disabilities will yield insights and provide opportunities that support all diverse learners.
Disability inclusion is an integral component of the education ecosystem. More than 7 million students in the United States have been identified with disabilities, and most of those students learn in general education classrooms. Despite decades of advocacy for disability rights, students with disabilities continue to experience educational barriers that challenge their ability to thrive in classrooms and communities. To overcome these barriers, educators and providers need the knowledge and tools to create inclusive and equitable environments that optimize learning outcomes for their students.
So how does SRI Education help our partners achieve these goals? Our disability education researchers and technical assistance providers apply their deep content knowledge and methodological expertise to produce relevant and usable findings from rigorous studies, resources that educators can use across disability categories and age ranges, and new and innovative tools such as robotics and augmented reality to increase access and inclusion in schools. SRI Education’s mission is to advance disability inclusion and reduce barriers, recognizing that evidence-based approaches that promote successful outcomes for students with disabilities will yield insights and provide opportunities that support all diverse learners.
Students who feel greater self-determination – the attitudes and abilities to act as a causal agent and make independent choices – tend to do better as they transition to life outside of secondary school.
Supporting Students With Significant Cognitive Disabilities and Support Needs as They Transition from High School
Researchers from SRI International and the University of Oklahoma are collaborating to create a new assessment tool to help educators ensure that students with significant cognitive disabilities (or extensive support needs) leave high school with the skills they need to be successful.
For the Child Find ACCESS project, SRI Education is implementing a community-based, tailored approach to improving child find systems.
Accessible technology for inclusive special education
In inclusive classrooms, all students have access to the tools and resources they need to grow and succeed. Educators need accessible technologies and alternative assessments that provide students with disabilities with multiple means of engagement, representation and expression.
As part of an institute with a long history of technological innovation, SRI Education offers unique opportunities for our partners to explore new approaches to accessibility and universal design for learning. We collaborate with other SRI divisions (computer vision, artificial intelligence, speech and natural language, and robotics) to consider how we might apply our innovative technologies to enhance diagnosis and improve learning outcomes for students with disabilities. We also work with industry leaders to co-design and implement software and tools that support inclusive education for students with disabilities.
High-quality research and evaluation for strong inclusive disability education
Educators need evidence of the highest standards to make informed decisions about policies and practices that help students with disabilities reach their full potential.
To help partners get the information they need, SRI Education designs and conducts cutting-edge research and rigorous impact evaluations around teaching and learning of students with disabilities. Our descriptive, correlational and experimental studies in special education and disability inclusion focus on the critical areas of universal design for learning; alternative assessment; response to intervention; inclusive classrooms and digital tools for learning; and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education for students with disabilities.
Read about more research and findings from SRI Education on disability inclusion for education
- Science Notebook in a Universal Design for Learning Environment (SNUDLE) (STEM)
- A Unified Research Agenda for 6-12 Online Learning Environments to Improve STEM Outcomes for Students with LD and Students with ASD
- Montana Continuous Improvement in Literacy Partnership (literacy)
- Impact Evaluation of Response to Intervention Strategies (literacy)
- NSF Co-organized Learning Environment for Middle School Science (CORGI-2)
- NSF Inventing, Designing, and Engineering on the Autism Spectrum (IDEAS)
- IES REL NEI
- Center on Inclusive Software for Learning (CISL)
Large-scale, longitudinal studies in special education
Longitudinal studies of nationally representative samples enable researchers to observe the learning trajectories of students in special education across all disability categories and age ranges.
After the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was passed, SRI Education pioneered the special education and disability studies that documented the characteristics, outcomes and services for children and youth with disabilities. Beginning with the first National Longitudinal Transition Study, we have assembled a successful portfolio of longitudinal studies providing our partners with national information about the full range of students receiving services under the disability education act. By tracking students’ progress and observing the supports they receive at key points in their learning trajectories, we inform disability education policies and practices that continue to strengthen inclusion in schools.
Learn more about the large-scale impact of SRI Education work for the rights of disability inclusion
- National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2)
- Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study (SEELS)
- National Early Intervention Longitudinal Study (NEILS)
- Success Predictors in Postsecondary STEM Education and Employment for Students with Autism
- Mixed-Methods Exploration of Factors Associated with Postsecondary Success for English Language Learners with Disabilities
Technical assistance on systemic improvements
To improve the services provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Act, educators, administrators and policymakers need technical assistance to understand and implement effective practices and systems that meet the needs of students with disabilities and their families.
SRI Education provides universal, targeted and intensive technical assistance to state, regional and local educators, administrators and policymakers based on needs . We help our partners synthesize research on best practices in disability education; develop and select inclusive programs and interventions; build capacity for collecting and using high-quality data; and create, expand and improve data systems.
Find more SRI Education resources on systemic improvements for students with disabilities
- Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy)
- IDEA Data Quality Center
- National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI)
- Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA)
- Model Demonstration Coordination Center (MDCC)
- Center to Improve Programs and Project Performance (CIP-3)
Programs serving children with disabilities—IDEA as a key component of a state early childhood system
Children’s early years are critical for their learning and development. Young children with developmental delays or disabilities need specialized services and supports to optimize their development and prepare for later learning. Families of young children with disabilities also need support from a broad array of services. These services are most effective when coordinated with other services and programs in the community. All programs serving young children and their families need to understand IDEA and what it means for families and children with disabilities to access and benefit from all early childhood programs available in their community.
Telepractice for Part C early intervention services: Considerations for effective implementation and Medicaid reimbursement
The purpose of this report is to provide information about the use of telepractice as a delivery method for EI services and the process for Medicaid reimbursement. States can use the state examples, resources, and information in the four Appendices to develop their own state-specific policies, procedures, and written guidance for using Medicaid dollars to reimburse for telepractice.
College-Based Transition Services’ Impact on Self-Determination for Youth With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Most youth in transition services with labels of intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) have poorer employment outcomes than their peers with other or without disabilities. One alternative approach to address this challenge provides youth with IDD access to transition services in the context of a college or university campus.
Does Assignment to Special Education Exacerbate Negative Social, Emotional, and Academic Attitudes Among Students with Disabilities?
Prior work largely finds that students with disabilities (SWD) display more negative social, emotional, and academic attitudes than students without disabilities.
Parent expectations, deaf youth expectations, and transition goals as predictors of postsecondary education enrollment
This study used the National Longitudinal Transition Study–2 (NLTS2) data set to determine the effects of expectations and transition planning goals on the postsecondary education enrollment of deaf youth.
Findings from a two-year effectiveness trial of the Science Notebook in a Universal Design for Learning Environment
This cluster randomized control trial examines the effects of the Science Notebook in a Universal Design for Learning Environment (SNUDLE) on elementary school student science academic achievement and motivation outcomes.