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Special Education/Disability

SRI has been active in special education and disability work since the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was passed in 1975. With the design and implementation of the National Longitudinal Transition Study (NLTS), SRI pioneered the special education and disability studies which provided documentation of the characteristics and outcomes of, and services for, children and youth with disabilities.

Following the success of NLTS, SRI developed a portfolio of longitudinal studies to provide national information about the full range of students receiving services under IDEA. This program eventually included SRI's design and implementation of the National Early Intervention Longitudinal Study (NEILS), the Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study (SEELS), and the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2 (NLTS 2).

These longitudinal studies of nationally representative samples allowed for the disaggregation of disabilities. They provided accurate measurements of

  • Classroom practices and child and youth performance through interviews of sample members and/or their parents

  • Administrative records collection

  • School staff and service provider surveys

  • Face-to-face assessments

These studies continue to inform policies and practices that help students with disabilities reach their full potential.

SRI has conducted descriptive, correlational, and experimental special education and disability studies of children and youth in the critical areas of student assessment, behavior, response to intervention, and literacy.


high school students studying together around a table

Montana Continuous Improvement in Literacy Partnership

SRI and partners will address the performance of economically disadvantaged students, American Indian students, English learners, and those receiving special education services.

smiling boy working on a computer

A Unified Research Agenda for 6-12 Online Learning Environments to Improve STEM Outcomes for Students with LD and Students with ASD

This capacity building project will contribute to foundational knowledge about what is already known, and what needs to be studied, about K-12 online STEM education for students with learning disabilities and those with autism spectrum disorder.

teacher and student working together

Model Demonstration Coordination Center (MDCC)

SRI is synthesizing findings across model demonstration projects to identify factors that lead to high-quality implementation, sustainability, and wider adoption of evidence-based practices.

boy sitting at computer at the library

Success Predictors in Postsecondary STEM Education and Employment for Students with Autism

SRI is examining data on 900 young adults with autism to characterize their school and career choices after high school.


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