Arizona is Training the Future Wave of Specialists in Special Education


The University of Arizona’s Department of Disabilities and Psychoeducational Studies has been awarded five grants totaling approximately $5 million by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs. The grants focus on equity, inclusion, and disability justice, aiming to support undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral scholars in their studies, train early intervention specialists, and prepare the next generation of special education leaders. The projects funded include:

Systems Change for Inclusive Education, a National Collaborative Effort for Students with Extensive Support Needs (SCIENCE-ESN): A collaborative effort between the University of Arizona and the University of Utah, preparing doctoral scholars for special education faculty positions with a focus on equity and inclusion.

Preparation of Culturally Sustaining Leaders in Special Education Through Apprenticeship Learning: A project supporting doctoral students to become faculty preparing special education teachers for culturally, racially, and linguistically diverse classrooms.

Representation and Diversity in Early Childhood Deaf Education: Expanding the online Special Education-Deaf/Hard of Hearing Master’s Teacher Preparation Program to include an emphasis on early intervention and early childhood.

Reading Arizona: A program to train diverse personnel to serve multicultural/multilingual children with disabilities, enhancing literacy skills for all children.

Educational Interpreting Emphasis: Training high-quality educational interpreters to work with deaf and hard-of-hearing students beginning in preschool.

These grants aim to address the diverse needs of students with disabilities and promote inclusive practices. The projects will support scholars, train future educators, and contribute to systemic changes across K-12 and higher education. The University of Arizona emphasizes the importance of collaboration, cultural sustainability, and evidence-based practices in special education to enhance educational outcomes for students with disabilities. The funded initiatives will play a crucial role in advancing the field of special education and promoting the overall well-being of students with diverse needs.

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