Supported Decision Making

Beach Center researchers are developing assessments and interventions to increase personal autonomy for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) through supported decision making.


Family Employment Awareness Training

Family Employment Awareness Training (FEAT) is designed for individuals with disabilities and their families to increase expectations for competitive employment and awareness of resources in Kansas supporting individuals with disabilities to be competitively employed.


The comprehensive, integrated three-tiered (Ci3T) model of prevention is a data-informed, graduated systems of support constructed to address students’ multiple needs in academic, behavioral, and social domains that can be designed to fit the needs of each school or academic unit.


The Beach Center focuses on research for and about families worldwide whose members include individuals with disabilities. Our work has influenced policy, services, and training to support not only families but also practitioners who serve families and their members with disabilities.


Beach Center investigators are internationally-recognized leaders in research on and interventions to promote the self-determination of children, youth, and adults with (and without) disabilities. Research at the Beach Center has established causal evidence for the impact of promoting self-determination and self-determination status on better school and transition outcomes and more positive quality of life and life satisfaction. This work spans from early childhood to adolescence and adulthood and examines the importance of self-determination across multiple contexts (school, employment, independent living, health, etc.). The important role of parents and family members, professionals and children, youth, and adults with disabilities in achieving more positive self-determination outcomes is explored and supports for these stakeholders developed, evaluated, and disseminated.

Kansas Institute for Positive Behavior Support

Positive Behavior Support (PBS) is a research-based, person-centered framework focused on decreasing problem behavior and increasing quality of life.

Transition Coalition

The Transition Coalition maximizes professional development opportunities for educators of secondary transition and college and career readiness of youth with disabilities.

Postsecondary Education (KU-TPE)

The University of Kansas Transition to Postsecondary Education (KU-TPE) is a federally-funded project to implement an inclusive college program at KU for young adults with intellectual disabilities who have completed high school and are 18-24 years old. Students attend KU:


Amanda Miller, Doctoral Student at Beach Center and KUCDD, was selected to participate in the Doctoral Research Fellows Program of KU’s Institute for Policy and Social Research. Amanda will take part in bi-monthly discussions with other scholars in related interdisciplinary social science fields. She will discuss research, gain skills in in disciplinary research, and share experiences and knowledge while preparing a presentation in the spring of 2018 when the program ends.

Congratulations to Karrie Shogren, Michael Wehmeyer, Kathleen Lane, and Carol Quirk on their new IES grant. It will investigate the efficacy of varied levels of support for teachers implementing SDLMI.

Judith Gross, Family Employment Awareness Training (FEAT) program at KU, discussed how FEAT helps families support individuals with disabilities to gain employment.

Mike Wehmeyer took over the role of Chair of the Department of Special Education effective July 1, 2017. Dr. Wehmeyer continues to serve as the Director of the Beach Center on Disability and is the Ross and Marianna Beach Distinguished Professor of Special Education. Read more about Dr. Wehmeyer in the Hawk Hopes Blog.

Ann Turnbull, former co-director of the Beach Center on Disability, will receive CADRE’s 2017 “Keys to Access” Award at CADRE’s Seventh National Symposium on Dispute Resolution in Special Education, October 18-20, 2017.

Michael Wehmeyer, Giving a name and dignity to a disability, New York Times

Mary Morningstar's KU Transition to Postsecondary Education, is a two-year program designed for students with intellectual disabilities.


October 18-20, 2017 | CADRE's Seventh National Symposium, Eugene, OR

December 13-15, 2017 | 2017 TASH Conference, Atlanta, GA

Opportunity for adolescents (13-21) with a low-incidence disability to be part of a research program.



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