DR's consitution calls for several standing committes 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.  This Committee is chaired by Cara Richards-Tutor.

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 Kristen McMaster.


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 in charge of planning DR's program within the annual CEC convention, including the review and selection of presentations.  The Committee is also responsible for developing mechanisms for sponsoring topical and other special meetings for the membership.  This committee is chaired by the DR Vice President.


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.

This committee develops recommendations for the Executive Board concerning relations with government and other relevant entities associated with research in the education of children with disabilities and children with gifts and talents, and serves as a liaison with other CEC divisions.  The committee chair is DR's representative to the CEC Children and Youth Action (CAN) Network, Betsy Talbott.


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 “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.

Current members of the committee are:

Tisa Aceves
, Chairperson, Loyola Marymount University
Tachelle Banks, Cleveland State University
Insoon Han, University of Minnesota Duluth
Emily Solari, University of California, Davis
Yaoying Xu, Virginia Commonwealth University

This Committee’s mission is threefold:
  • To develop and propose mechanisms for including individuals with disabilities and their families in research and dissemination processes.
  • 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.
  • To foster a research agenda that addresses critical issues regarding families of individuals with disabilities.

Members of the committee are:

Shana J. Haines, University of Vermont (Chair)
Grace Francis, George Mason University
Meghan Burke, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Ann Turnbull, Professor Emerita, University of Kansas
Natalie Holdren University of California, Santa Barbara (student member)
Tracy Gershwin Mueller, University of Northern Colorado
Kathleen Kyzar, Texas Christian University
Caya (Chun-Yu) Chiu, National Taiwan Normal University
Katie Shepherd, University of Vermont
George Singer, University of California, Santa Barbara
Jennifer Diliberto (past Committee Chair), University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill