For more than three decades, Dr. Ferguson has pursued an interest in the field of disability studies with an emphasis on issues affecting people with intellectual disabilities. His research is focused on family/professional interactions and support policy, social policy and the history of disability, as well as qualitative research methods in disability studies and education. Prior to coming to Chapman in the fall of 2007, Dr. Ferguson held the E. Desmond Lee Endowed Chair for the Education of Children with Disabilities at the University of Missouri St. Louis. He also was on the faculty at the University of Oregon for 15 years. Dr. Ferguson is a past President of the Society for Disability Studies and was the Chair of the Board of Directors for Missouri Protection and Advocacy Services. In addition to numerous articles, book chapters, and monographs, Dr. Ferguson’s publications include Abandoned to Their Fate: Social Policy and Practice toward Severely Disabled Persons, 1820-1920 – a book and accompanying video on the history of individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families. Together with colleagues Dianne Ferguson and Steven J. Taylor, he is the co-editor of Interpreting Disability: A Qualitative Reader.
Disability history, family/professional interactions, and disability policy
From Rhetoric to Reality: Improving Family/Professional Linkages. 29th Annual Conference of California-TASH, Irvine, CA, March 4, 2011 (with Dianne Ferguson)
Family Portraits: Past and Present Representations of Parents in Special Education Text Books. Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA, April 9, 2011 (with Dianne Ferguson)
How Far Have We Really Come: Comparing Teacher Attitudes toward Inclusion in 1913 and 2010. 11th Annual Second City Conference on Disability Studies in Education, Chicago, IL, May 14, 2011
Past and Present Representations of Parents in Special Education Textbooks. 30th Annual Conference of California-TASH, Oakland, CA, March 2, 2012 (with Dianne Ferguson)
Ferguson, P. M., & Ferguson, D. L. (2006). Finding the “proper attitude”: The potential of disability studies to reframe family/school linkages. In S. Danforth & S. L. Gabel (Eds.), Vital questions facing disability studies in education (pp. 217-235). New York: Peter Lang.
Ferguson, P. M. (2008). The doubting dance: Contributions to a history of parent/professional interactions in early 20th century America. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 33, 48-58. (published in April, 2009)
Ferguson, P. M., Ferguson, D. L., & Brodsky, M. N. (2008). “Away from public gaze”: A history of the Fairview Training Center and the institutionalization of people with developmental disabilities in Oregon, 1908-2000. Monmouth, OR: Teaching Research Institute, Western Oregon University.
Ferguson, D. L., & Ferguson, P. M. (2011). The promise of adulthood. In M. E. Snell & F. Brown (Eds.), Instruction of students with severe disabilities (7th ed.)(pp. 612-641). Columbus, OH: Pearson/Merrill Prentice-Hall.
Ferguson, P. M. & Nusbaum, E. (2012). Disability studies: What is it? What difference does it make? Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 37(2), 70-80.
Ferguson, P. M. (in press). The present king of France is feeble-minded. The logic and history of the continuum of placements for people with intellectual disabilities. In A. S. Kanter & B. A. Ferri (Eds.), Righting educational wrongs: Disability studies in law and education. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University