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
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.