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» Research

Research serves as the evidence-base that informs policy, rules, regulations and legislation. The idea is that good research should help us better understand disability issues within a complex society and how policy adjustments can improve the human condition as it seeks greater happiness for its people.

As well, the TPI believes that our policy work and research must be driven by the field; the families, schools, agencies, and most importantly, by those with disabilities. As such, our research and policy questions are most often driven by our public surveys, our partnerships with community groups, and our direct contact with families and people with disabilities. Our research is then brought to the professional and general public in many forms, such as professional publications, public meetings, briefings, reports and social media. In this broad effort, TPI strives to improve society by reducing the barriers to access for all of it citizens.  

While the vast majority of our research is quantitative in nature, TPI values multiple methods of inquiry designed to understand and learn about the complex issues we study. We strive to leverage multiple ways of knowing to make the most sense of the topics we seek to understand, as we recommend adjustments to rules, regulations, laws and policies.

Research Articles

Peer-reviewed journal articles and reports by the Thompson Policy Institute’s Faculty Affiliates can be located under the focus areas below. You may contact our faculty affiliates and staff via e-mail, as listed on our team page.

Transition to Work

Transition to work TPI’s current focus is on the movement from schools to meaningful employment toward the goal of a quality adult life. TPI is committed to increasing the rate and conditions of employment for people with disabilities.

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Griffiths, A.J., Giannantonio, C.M., Hurley-Hanson, A.E., & Cardinal, D. (2016). Getting down to business: Assessing the
    transition needs of young adults with autism. Journal of Business and Management.

Hunter, D., Reid, D., & Nishimura, T. (2013). Postsecondary education for students with disabilities. In K. Storey & D. Hunter
    (Eds.), The road ahead: Transition to adult life for persons with disabilities, 3rd ed. (pp. 177-198 ). Amsterdam, Netherlands: 
    IOS Press.

Disability Prevalence

Disability Prevalence TPI’s work in this area attempts to explain the significant increase in the rate of ASD diagnosis and determine what impact this increase has on schools and adult life. TPI is also investigating how policies may have inadvertently impacted this change in prevalence..

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Cosier, M. (2012). “The road less traveled”: Combining disability studies and quantitative analysis with medium and large data
    sets. Research & Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 37(2), 81-88.

Educational Practices

Educational Practices As a field, we seek how to match the specific needs of an individual with the best educational practice. Research on this topic helps us customize a person’s education with methods of practice that are evidenced-based, effective and safe. TPI is dedicated to being sure proven effective methods are available to teachers and parents and that they are properly trained to use those effective methods of learning. Educational practices include learning strategies, how to measure their effectiveness for a specific person, and the conditions surrounding optimal learning conditions, such as space, support, timing, and physical and fiscal structures.

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Causton-Theoharis, J. N., Theoharis, G., Cosier, M., & Orsati, F. (2011). Does self-contained special education deliver on it’s 
    promises?: A critical inquiry into research and practice. Journal of Special Education Leadership, 24(2), 61-78.

Cosier, M., McKee, A., & Gomez, A. (in press). A study of the impact of Disability Studies on teacher perceptions and practice. 
    Review of Disability Studies.

Cosier, M., & Ferguson, P. M. (2012). Disability studies and the support of individuals with significant disabilities and their 
    families: An introduction to the issues. Research & Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 37(2), 67-69.

Cosier, M., Gomez, A., Maghzi, K., & McKee, A. (2013). Smart phones permitted: How teachers use text messaging to 
    collaborate in inclusive schools. Education and Information Technologies (Online First). doi: 10.1007/s10639-013-9288-2.

Cosier, M., White, J., Wang, Q., & Gao, P. (2016). Examining the variability in inclusive placements for students with intellectual 
    disability.
 Manuscript submitted for publication.

Lambert, R., & Sugita (Nishimura), T. (in press) Increasing engagement of students with learning disabilities in mathematical 
    problem-solving and discussion. Support for Learning.

Sugita (Nishimura), T. (in press). Current trends in psychological and educational approaches for training and teaching 
    children with Autism. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education.

Taub, D., White, J., & Ryndak, D. (2014). Promising practices for professional development and school reform impacting 
    students with complex instructional needs: Perceptions of an expert panel. Inclusion, 2(4), 264-285.

White, J. Cosier, M., Wang, Q., & Gao, P. (2016). Investigating factors related to access to general education contexts for 
    students with intellectual disability: Results of a survey of district special education administrators in one state.
 Manuscript 
    submitted for publication

School and Community Inclusion

School and Community Inclusion Why are some schools more inclusive than others? Are there policies in place that support or hinder inclusive practices? TPI has engaged in a multi-state analysis of this phenomenon. TPI is also interested in the equitable availability of supports for people with disabilities our society.

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Ashby, C., & Cosier, M. (2012). Moving beyond excuses to exclude in secondary school. TASH Connections, 37(2-3), 12-17.

Causton-Theoharis, J., Theoharis, G., Bull, T., Cosier, M., & Dempf-Aldrich, K. (2011). Schools of promise: A school district-
    university partnership centered on inclusive school reform. Remedial and Special Education, 32(3), 192-205

Cosier, M. (2016). Professional development in inclusive school reform: The need for critical and functional approaches. In M.
    Cosier & C. Ashby (Eds.). Enacting change from within: Disability Studies meets teaching and teacher. New York, NY:
    Peter Lang

Cosier, M. (2014). Using “narrative and numbers” to drive inclusive school reform: A case study. In S. Danforth (Ed.). Teaching
    in the shape of justice: Becoming an inclusive educator.
New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Cosier, M., & Ashby, C. (Eds.). (2016). Enacting change from within: Disability Studies meets teaching and teacher education.
    New York, NY: Peter Lang

Cosier, M., Gomez, A., McKee, A., & Beggs, S. (2016). Three ways to use the common core state standards to increase access
    to general education contexts for students with disabilities. In M. Cosier & C. Ashby (Eds.). Enacting change from within:
    Disability Studies meets teaching and teacher.
New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Cosier, M., Gomez, A., Maghzi, K., & McKee, A. (2013). Smart phones permitted: How teachers use text messaging to
    collaborate in inclusive schools. Education and Information Technologies (Online First). doi: 10.1007/s10639-013-9288-2. 
    (Inclusion & Educational Practices)

Cosier, M., & Causton-Theoharis, J. (2010). Economic and demographic predictors of inclusive education. Remedial and
    Special Education.
Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0741932510362513

Cosier, M., Causton-Theoharis, J., & Theoharis, G. (2013). Access to general education contexts: Time in general education
    and achievement for students with disabilities. Remedial and Special Education (Online First). Retrieved from rse.sage.com.
    doi: 10.1177/0741932513485448

Cosier, M. (2012). “The road less traveled”: Combining disability studies and quantitative analysis with medium and large data
    sets. Research & Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 37(2), 81-88.

Koo, S., & Nishimura, T. (2013). Minority within a minority paradox: Asian experiences in predominantly Latino schools and
    communities. Multicultural Education, 20(2), 17-26.

Morningstar, M., Allcock, H., White, J., Taub, D., Kurth, J., Gonsier-Gerdin, J., … Jorgensen, C. (2016). TASH inclusive education
    research agenda: A call to action and advocacy. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 41(3), 209-215.

Nishimura, T. (2014). Effective professional development of teachers: A guide to actualizing inclusive schooling. International
    Journal of Whole Schooling 10(1)
, 19-42.

Nishimura, T., & Busse, R.T. (2016). Content validation of the Scale of Teacher Attitudes towards Inclusive Classrooms.
    International Journal of Special Education, 31(2), 186- 190.

Nishimura, T., & Busse, R.T. (2015). A factor analytic validation study of the Scale of Teachers’ Attitudes towards Inclusive
    Classrooms (STATIC). International Journal of Special Education, 30(3), 1-7.

Ryndak, D., Jackson, L., & White, J. (2013). Involvement and progress in the general curriculum for students with extensive
    support needs: K-12 inclusive education research and implications for the future. Inclusion, 1(1), 28-49.

Ethnicity within Disability

Ethnicity within Disability Does ethnicity play a role in how schools assign eligibility to students who need specialized services? TPI seeks to better understand the role of race and gender in schools, assess any discrepancies and, where needed, correct disproportionalities in schools and communities.

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Koo, S., & Nishimura, T. (2013). Minority within a minority paradox: Asian experiences in predominantly Latino schools and
    communities. Multicultural Education, 20(2), 17-26

Community Living

Community Living Where and how we live seriously impacts the quality of our lives. TPI is investigating promising ideas and models that serve the goal of an inclusive living community, as well as assessing if we, as a society, are approximating desirable living opportunities for people with disabilities.

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Coming soon. A new study will be announced.

Disability Studies/Social Perception:

Disability Studies/Social Perception: The TPI Network strives to discover the barriers to quality of life for people with disabilities of all ages and to mitigate those barriers through identifying, understanding, making others aware, and to mobilizing communities through changes in perceptions, laws, regulations and actions. Barriers can be physical, like a curb-cut, however, barriers are frequently social, conceptual and perceptional.

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Cory, R., White, J., Stuckey, Z. (2010). Using disability theory to change disability services: A case study in student activism. 
    Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 23(1), 29-36.

Cosier, M. (2012). “The road less traveled”: Combining disability studies and quantitative analysis with medium and large data 
    sets. Research & Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 37(2), 81-88.

Cosier, M., & Ashby, C. (Eds.). (2016). Enacting change from within: Disability Studies meets teaching and teacher education. 
    New York, NY: Peter Lang

Cosier, M., & Ferguson, P. M. (2012). Disability studies and the support of individuals with significant disabilities and their 
    families: An introduction to the issues. Research & Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 37(2), 67-69.

Cosier, M., & Pearson, H. (2016). Can we talk?: The underdeveloped dialogue between teacher education and Disability 
    Studies. Sage Open. doi:10.1177/2158244015626766

Maples, J., Arndt, K., & White, J. (2010). (Re)seeing The Mighty: Critically examining one film’s representations of disability in 
    the English classroom. English Journal, 100(2), 77-85. (Disability Studies/Social Perception)

Pearson, H., Cosier, M., Kim, J., Gomez, A., Hines, C., McKee, A., & Ruiz, L. (2016). The impact of Disability Studies curriculum 
    on education professionals' perspectives and practice: Implications for education, social justice, and social change. 
    Disability Studies Quarterly, 36(2). www.dsq-sds.org