Beach Home Page


Making a significant and sustainable difference in quality of life


Supported Decision Making

Beach Center researchers are developing assessments and interventions to increase personal autonomy for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) through supported decision making.



The Beach Center focus on research for and about families worldwide whose members include individuals with disabilities. Our work has influenced policy, service and training to support not only families but also practitioners who serve families and their members with disabilities.

Family Employment Awareness Training

Family Employment Awareness Training

Family Employment Awareness Training (FEAT) is designed for individuals with disabilities and their families to increase expectations for competitive employment and awareness of resources in Kansas supporting individuals with disabilities to be competitively employed.



Beach Center investigators are internationally-recognized leaders in research on and interventions to promote the self-determination of children, youth, and adults with (and without) disabilities. Research at the Beach Center has established causal evidence for the impact of promoting self-determination and self-determination status on better school and transition outcomes and more positive quality of life and life satisfaction. This work spans from early childhood to adolescence and adulthood and examines the importance of self-determination across multiple contexts (school, employment, independent living, health, etc.). The important role of parents and family members, professionals and children, youth, and adults with disabilities in achieving more positive self-determination outcomes is explored and supports for these stakeholders developed, evaluated, and disseminated.


KU Special Education is currently accepting applications for doctoral students for the KU LEAP program for FALL 2019. KU LEAP involves a competitive funding package, and you also get to learn with some of the best scholars in the areas of severe disabilities.

To apply today to the KU SPED doctoral program, visit:…/special-e…/phd/overview-benefits

To view a flyer about KU LEAP, visit:…/ku_leap_flyer_2018accessible2.p…

Congratulations to KUCDD doctoral student Sheida K. Raley on being one of the winners of the Patricia L. Sitlington Emerging Researcher Award at the 2018 Division on Career Development and Transition International Conference in Cedar Rapids, IA. This award is presented to an individual who has contributed to more positive outcomes for transition-aged youth and to the field of transition through a body of research in transition.

Large-scale studies by Karrie Shogren and Michael Wehmeyer show that self-determination interventions are successful for students with disabilities. Read more!

Upcoming Conferences

April 5-9, 2019 | American Education Research Association (AERA), Annual Meeting, Leveraging Education Research in a "Post-Truth" Era: Multimodel Narratives in Democratize Evidence. Toronto, Canada.

June 24-27, 2019 | 143rd Annual Meeting, American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabitlies (AAIDD). St. Paul, MN.



Comprehensive, Integrated Three-Tiered (Ci3T) model of prevention is a data-informed, graduated systems of support constructed to address student's multiple needs in academic, behavioral, and social domains that can be designed to fit the needs of each school or academic unit.

Postive Behaviour

Kansas Institute for Positive Behavior Support

Positive Behavior Support (PBS) is a research-based, person-centered framework focused on decreasing problem behavior and increasing quality of life.

Transition coalition

Transition Coalition

The Transition Coalition maximizes professional development opportunities for educators of secondary transition and college and career readiness of youth with disabilities.

Beach Website Photo Graduation_TPE.png

Postsecondary Education (KU-TPE)

The University of Kansas Transition to Postsecondary Education (KU-TPE) is a federally-funded project to implement an inclusive college program at KU for young adults with intellectual disabilities who have completed high school and are 18-24 years old.