MA in Special Education - Disabilities

Shirin Antia, Ph.D. photoShirin Antia, Ph.D.

Dr. Antia coordinates teacher preparation in the education of children who are deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) through which she has pioneered an on-line preparation program that attracts students from many different states. Her research focuses on social and academic issues of DHH students in public school programs. Dr. Antia has received federal research grants to study literacy, develop peer interaction interventions, and examine the social and academic progress of DHH students in public schools. She has served as a board member of the Council on Education of the Deaf and as President of the Association of College Educators of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing.Phyllis Brodsky, Ph.D.

Phyllis Brodsky, Ph.D.Phyllis Brodsky, Ph.D.

Ms. Brodsky has worked extensively with children with severe disabilities including deaf-blindness, autism, intellectual, and physical disabilities. She has advocated for inclusive learning environments for students with severe disabilities through direct instruction, consultation, teacher training, and as an adjunct instructor teaching methods courses at the graduate level. Throughout her body of work, Ms. Brodsky has modeled, encouraged, and taught the use of assistive technology, including mobile and emerging technologies, to bridge the gaps between learners with severe disabilities and their surrounding communities. In recognition of this work, she was selected as an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2011. She currently supports the use of emerging technology in higher education through the Office of Instruction and Assessment’s speakers bureau.

Jolenea Ferro, Ph.D. photoJolenea Ferro, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Practice

Jolenea Ferro is Adjunct Associate Professor in the Special Education Program at the University of Arizona. She specializes in behavior analysis, positive behavior support, early childhood special education, and behavioral disorders. Her research focuses on functional assessment, school-wide positive behavior support, curriculum, and early intervention.

Dr. Ferro earned her Ph.D. in special education at the University of Florida. She conducted research on positive behavior support at the Research and Training Center for Positive Behavior Support in Tampa, Florida before arriving at the University of Arizona.

Dr. Ferro is currently project director for the Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports of Arizona grant, which provides training and technical assistance on positive behavior support and implementation of school-wide systems of support to elementary, middle, and high schools in the southern area of the state. She also co-directs (with Dr. John Umbreit) the Behavioral Support Specialist training program.

Todd Fletcher, Ph.D. photoTodd Fletcher, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Todd Fletcher is an associate professor in the Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, and School Psychology in the College of Education at the University of Arizona where he coordinates the graduate program in bilingual/multicultural special education. His research interests and scholarly writing focus on culturally responsive educational practices for diverse learners in the U.S. and educational reform, special education policy and practices in Latin America, in particular, Mexico. He is co-editor of the book Educating Children with Disabilities and Their Families: Blending US and Mexican Perspectives. He founded a non-profit organization, Resplandor International, a cultural and educational center in central Mexico in the state of Guanajuato focused on education and development.

Philip R. Johnson, Ph.D. photoPhilip R. Johnson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Practice

Dr. Johnson has an extensive background working with persons with disabilities, including managing a vocational program, providing rehabilitation counseling, behavioral health counseling, and mental health counseling, and providing training and consultation services on the use of positive behavioral support strategies to family members, in-home support specialists, and personnel in public schools. Dr. Johnson has focused mostly on researching behavioral therapy alternatives to the use of psychotropic medications for addressing the severe behavioral problems in children and adults with significant disabilities (i.e., autism spectrum disorders, serious mental illnesses, and intellectual disabilities) and children who are victims of abuse.

Kathryn Kreimeyer, Ph.D. photoKathryn Kreimeyer, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Dr. Kreimeyer teaches courses and coordinates internships in the on-line graduate level program to prepare teachers of deaf and hard of hearing children. Her research interests are in the areas of peer interaction, social integration and best practices of inclusion for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students. She has co-authored multiple research articles and chapters on these topics. With Dr. Shirin Antia, she has received several federal research grants to develop peer interaction interventions for young DHH children and to examine the social and academic integration of DHH students within public school programs. She serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education.

Carl Liaupsin, Ph.D. photoCarl Liaupsin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Dr. Liaupsin specializes in the area of emotional and behavioral disorders and directs the graduate cross-categorical special education program. His research addresses the validation of function-based behavior intervention procedures and issues of treatment integrity in individualized interventions. Dr. Liaupsin is the past Publications Chairperson for CCBD, having coordinated publication of both Behavioral Disorders and Beyond Behavior, and served for five years as a Co-Editor of Education and Treatment of Children. He has directed several externally funded projects, with total funding of nearly $7.5 million.

Stephanie MacFarland, Ph.D. photoStephanie MacFarland, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Practice

Dr. MacFarland is currently the Director of the Teacher Preparation Program in Severe and Multiple Disabilities. This is a graduate level program that leads to a Master’s Degree and certification in severe disabilities. She specializes in preparing teachers and consulting in the field of deaf-blind education with an emphasis in communication development. She was a Fulbright Scholar and studied with Dr. Jan van Dijk in The Netherlands, a renowned educator and researcher in deaf-blind education. Dr. MacFarland documented van Dijk’s theory and curricular approach and has given numerous presentations and technical assistance regarding the use of the Van Dijk approach in America and abroad.

C. June Maker, Ph.D. photoC. June Maker, Ph.D.

Dr. Maker specializes in the education of children who are gifted and twice exceptional (e.g., gifted and LD). Her publications address teacher training, the development of talents in exceptional children, teaching students with learning disabilities, curriculum development for gifted students, teaching models in the education of gifted children, education of gifted minority students, teaching gifted students in general education classrooms, and alternative assessment of gifted students. Dr. Maker’s current research, funded by the National Science Foundation, focuses on assessment and enhancement of multiple forms of ability from a problem-solving perspective and finding gifted students from underserved or overlooked groups (e.g., Native American, Hispanic American, African American, Asian-American, and students with disabilities).

Maria Nahmias, Ph.D. photoMaria Nahmias, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Practice

Dr. Nahmias’ work focuses on teacher education, professional development and mentoring, and collaboration among parents and educators. She specializes in learning disabilities and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders. Within the UA’s College of Education, she teaches the Inclusion for Secondary Students course, is an Honors College faculty mentor, mentoring undergraduates in research, and is the Program Director for the Arizona Teacher Mentoring Project. This outreach program of the College of Education is funded by the Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services.

L. Penny Rosenblum, Ph.D.L. Penny Rosenblum, Ph.D.
Professor of Practice

Dr. Rosenblum prepares teachers to work with children with visual impairments (TVIs) and has previously coordinated teacher preparation programs in Arizona and Nevada. In March of 2012 she became the Project Director for an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) federal project, AnimalWatch-VI Suite, a comprehensive program to increase access to math for students with visual impairments. With the Office of Instruction and Assessment, Dr. Rosenblum developed the UAbacus app, which is now available for free download from the iTunes App Store.

John Umbreit, Ph.D photoJohn Umbreit, Ph.D.

Dr. Umbreit specializes in severe disabilities, behavior analysis, and positive behavioral support. His research focuses on function-based intervention and PBIS in natural environments. In the past 25 years, he has directed 17 research and personnel preparation grants, with external funding totaling nearly $7.5 million. In 2010, Dr. Umbreit received the Most Outstanding Teaching/Mentoring Award from the UA College of Education.

Graduate Certificate in Reading Instruction

Patricia L. Anders, Ph.D. photoPatricia L. Anders, Ph.D.

Patricia (Patty) L. Anders is the Jewel M. Lewis Distinguished Professor of Reading in the Language, Reading and Culture program of the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies Department of the College of Education at the University of Arizona. Professor Anders is the recipient of the University of Arizona Graduate and Professional Education Teaching and Mentoring Award and the Outstanding Research in Teacher Education Award (AERA). She is an elected member of the Reading Hall of Fame. Professor Anders is also a former member of the Board of Directors of the International Reading Association and is currently President of the National Reading Conference (to be renamed the Literacy Research Association), the leading literacy research organization for scholars of literacy.

David B. Yaden, Ph.D. photoDavid B. Yaden, Ph.D.

David B. Yaden Jr. (Ph.D., University of Oklahoma) is Professor of Language, Reading, and Culture at the UA College of Education. Prior to his present position at UA, he held appointments at Emory University, the University of Houston, and the University of Southern California. He has been a principal investigator in the federally-funded Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA) where he supervised the implementation of an early literacy curriculum for Spanish-speaking preschoolers in inner-city Los Angeles. His research interests and specializations include developmental issues in early childhood education, the acquisition of literacy and bi-literacy in young children, family literacy, theories of reading disability and the application of complex adaptive systems theory to growth in reading and writing.

Ana C. Iddings, Ph.D. photoAna C. Iddings, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Ana Christina DaSilva Iddings is an Associate Professor of Language, Literacy, and Culture—Early Childhood at the University of Arizona. Her research interests are second language learning, family and community, bi-literacy and bilingualism in early childhood education, immigration and equity in education, and the education and professional development of teachers to work with English language learners and their families.

Elizabeth L. Jaeger, Ph.D. photoElizabeth L. Jaeger, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Elizabeth Jaeger (Ph.D,, University of California, Berkeley, 2012) is an assistant professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies at the University of Arizona. Jaeger’s scholarship focuses on the role of a range of eco-system elements – from texts to tasks to peer relationships to potentially oppressive macro-system factors of class, race, and gender – in the experience of students for whom the process of coming to literacy has not been easy.  Her current research examines the potential transaction between the Common Core State Standards and Response to Intervention. Such a transaction would allow our most vulnerable readers to fully engage in the sophisticated thinking demanded by these standards.

Robert C. Wortman, Ph.D. photoRobert C. Wortman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Practice

Bob Wortman has been an elementary teacher, K-12 Reading Specialist for 13 years. He was principal of a court-ordered desegregated magnet school with a dual language strand for 13 years. He also served as director of Title I and Literacy programs for Tucson Unified School District for 4 years. After 30 years as a teacher, principal, and central office administrator in public schools, he currently teaches graduate courses in Literacy and Children’s Literature as Associate Lecturer in the Department of Language, Reading, and Culture at the University of Arizona. He is a seasoned presenter at national and state conferences and is active on the board of the Tucson Area Reading Council, the University of Arizona College of Education Alumni Council, the Tucson Youth Development Board of Directors, and Reach Out and Read Southern Arizona. He especially enjoys bringing the writing of our best authors into the writing lives of children K-12 and energizing teachers and administrators to the joys and challenges of authentic reading and writing in classrooms by modeling reading and writing workshop lessons in classrooms across the country. He is the author of numerous articles and two books published by Stenhouse Publishers: Administrators Supporting School Change and Leadership in Whole Language.