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To address the needs of our diverse community, the Center on Disability and Development conducts research on a variety of topics, including education and early intervention, disaster and community living.

Autism Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Deficits in communication and social interaction are central issues for people on the autism spectrum. Recent advances have indicated that intensive interventions and technologies, including augmentative and alternative communication, can help such individuals learn new skills.

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Biometric Literacy and Language Indicators for Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Children (BLINC)

We are a research group dedicated to improving literacy (reading skills) and language (communication skills) of children with neurodevelopmental disorders such as children with autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, down syndrome, fragile X, and many others.
The BLINC lab is currently engaged in two ongoing projects: Lsquared and Emergent Literacy Assessment.

Lsquared Parent Coaching Emergent Literacy Assessment Learn more about BLINC

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)

Bryan ISD GEAR UP is a nationwide project focused on improving school completion and college attendance rates for:

  • First-generation students,
  • Minority students,
  • Students with disabilities, and
  • Other underrepresented student groups.

This project offers resources for students, parents, and educators to increase awareness regarding college, careers, and decision making in terms of life skills.

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Parent-directed Treatment Project

The Parent-directed Treatment Project is funded by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Parent trainers will provide face-to-face treatment and/or online training for parents and caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Parents or caregivers will be instructed on how to improve communication skills in their own children.

Your child will receive communication/behavioral assessments and a communication intervention (implemented by you). Sessions will be conducted for approximately 12-14 weeks in total, for 1-2 hours per session. This will include both group and individualized training.

We are looking for parents or caregivers who have children up to age 22 with ASD. If you are interested in this project, complete the online application form and we will contact you as soon as possible.

Apply now

Postsecondary Access and Training for Human Services (PATHS)

The PATHS Certificate Program is offered at the Center on Disability and Development. It prepares graduates to be Direct Support Professionals. This two semester certificate program prepares graduates for employment in a career serving people with disabilities.

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Project BEST

Project BEST (Basic Employability Skills Training) is set to begin its first pilot of the BEST Curriculum soon. The curriculum is based on employability skills identified as important and necessary in both the academic literature and through community based surveys. Due to COVID-19, both a digital course and a paper based course were created for teachers. A workbook was also developed to support employment skills training for their students.

For more information, contact Dr. Jacqueline Turner.

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Research and Education on Disability and Disaster (REDD)

Project REDD was created in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in response to the overwhelming needs of the over 400,000 individuals with disabilities that were displaced to Texas following these disasters.

The mission of Project REDD is to:

  • Conduct high-quality research and evaluation on how disasters affect individuals with disabilities and their families.
  • Provide training and workshops on the topic of disability and disaster for organizations, service providers and at professional conferences.

Project REDD collaborates with other researchers exploring psychological constructs related to the effects of disaster. Project REDD has produced the “Disaster Acronym Guide” and the “Texas Guide to Supports and Services for Individual with Disabilities and Their Families Affected by Disasters”. Over 10,000 of these guides have been distributed to emergency management personnel, case managers, volunteer organizations, county extension agents and people throughout Texas.

Project REDD faculty present at professional organizations and engage in ongoing research on the effects of disaster on individuals with disabilities and their families.

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Contact Laura Stough for more information.

Supporting Teachers in Evidence-based Practices (STEP)

Project STEP combines community outreach, research, and hands-on learning experiences for TAMU students in an effort to produce positive outcomes for young children placed at risk. Project STEP provides ongoing professional development and support to head start teachers to promote social and emotional development, as well as to decrease challenging behavior in young children.

Texas AgrAbility

Connecting, assisting, and empowering people in production agriculture.

An estimated 50,000 farmers, ranchers and agricultural workers in state who have some type of disability. Texas AgrAbility’s focus is on connecting, assisting and empowering agricultural producers, their family members and employees with disabilities and chronic health conditions to stay engaged in production agriculture. This program, initiated in 2009 by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and Texas A&M, is part of a nationwide network of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs.

  • We provide assistance through individualized consultation and assessment of agricultural work sites and tasks, as well as make recommendations for farm equipment adaptation, home modifications and adaptive equipment.
  • We connect farmers, ranchers, their family members and farm workers to the disability community network of professionals and each other.
  • We seek to empower through education and resources the self-determination of individuals with disabilities to stay actively engaged in agriculture.
Learn more

Contact Cheryl Grenwelge for more information.