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Mission & Vision

The KU Department of Special Education’s commitment to effective teaching, excellent field supervision and support for novice special educators, innovation, and leadership makes KU a great place to begin or further a special education career.

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Mission Statement

The faculty integrates research with practice, serves as social advocates, and advances education, social policies, public service, community building, and research to enhance the quality of life of persons with (dis)abilities and their families. We recognize the evolving nature of our field with its roots in medicalized notions of (dis)ability that have historically ignored a range of social constructions of ability and diversity. We acknowledge the ways in which disability has served as a proxy for other kinds of diversity and how other forms of diversity have been used as a code to mean (dis)ability. We trouble these notions because we are a faculty actively engaged in a range of epistemological, theoretical, policy, and empirical scholarship. This reflexivity about the field and our collective identity, as well as scholarship deeply grounded in practice, provides international leadership in pursuit of equity in educational and social outcomes that enhance the quality of life of persons with (dis)abilities and their families.

Further, we commit to excellence in research, teaching, and service built on a foundation of mutual trust, active engagement in the pursuit of equity and social justice, and respect for ALL people. Faculty and staff invest their talents, creativity, scholarship, and energy to prepare civic professionals who pursue these ends in support of persons with (dis)abilities and their families in the following ways:

  1. Value persons with (dis)abilities and their families
  2. Respect diverse views, contributions and achievements
  3. Promote education as a fundamental human endeavor and social right
  4. Participate in emancipatory policies, practices, and research
  5. Influence professional and civic communities
  6. Enhance quality of life
  7. Engage educational, social, political, and institutional interests
  8. Employ cutting edge technologies and methods in the pursuit of meaningful solutions
  9. Contribute to relevant knowledge bases through integrating research and practice
  10. Collaborate on micro, meso, and macro levels to address complex challenges

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Preparing Educators as Leaders

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