Judith Gross, Ph.D.

Judith M. S. Gross, Ph.D.

Judith Gross

Dr. Gross has worked as a special education teacher, direct service provider, and advocate. While working, she completed her master's degree, which focused on instruction and curriculum for children with severe disabilities. After seeing the challenges that families faced when trying to access needed and appropriate services for their children, she decided to come to KU for her Ph.D. She completed her doctorate in 2010 and worked at the Beach Center on Disability as an Assistant Research Professor until 2017 when she became the Director of the Institute's Center on Community Living and Careers.

Investigator, Beach Center on Disability,
Assistant Research Professor , Beach Center on Disability ,
University of Kansas

Ph.D., Special Education, University of Kansas, 2010
M.Ed., Interdisciplinary Studies in Special Education: Curriculum and Instruction of Students with Severe Disabilities, Montana State University, 2003
B.A., Special Education - Learning Disabilities & Behavioral Disorders, MacMurray College, 1997

Contact Information


Indiana Institute on Disability and Community
Indiana University
1905 North Range Road
Bloomington, IN 47408-9801
jmsgross@iu.edu (alternate email)


Research Interests

Dr. Gross is the principal investigator on the Assessing Family Employment Awareness Training (FEAT), aNIDRR Field Initiated research project funded from 2013-2016. Assessing FEAT is a quasi-experimental, mixed methods research project assessing the short- and intermediate-term impacts of FEAT. Dr. Gross collaborated with colleagues from the Beach Center on Disability at the University of Kansas and Families Together, Inc. to develop, conduct, and evaluate the Family Employment Awareness Training (FEAT) in 2010-2012.

Dr. Gross is also a member of the Family and Community Engagement Team of the Schoolwide Integrated Framework for Transformation (SWIFT) Center. As a member of this team she collaborates with families, community members, educators, administrators, researchers, and policy experts from across the nation to improve partnerships and enhance student outcomes in inclusive education.

Dr. Gross' prior research focused on how public policy affects individuals with disabilities and their families, specifically with regard to their access to available supports and services to meet their needs. Dr. Gross conducted a comprehensive literature analysis of 53 documents related to participant direction. The analysis resulted in a theory of the organizational construction of programs of participant direction and a conceptual framework identifying and defining the various possible components and indicators of participant direction in programs across the country.

Recent Publications

Francis G, Gross JM, Turnbull R, Parent-Johnson W. Evaluating the effectiveness of the Family Employment Awareness Training in Kansas: A pilot study. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities. 2013 Mar;38(1):44-57.

Gross JM, Wallace L, Blue-Banning M, Summers JA, Turnbull A. Examining the experiences and decisions of parents/guardians: Participant directing the supports and services of adults with significant intellectual and developmental disabilities. Journal of Disability Policy Studies. 2013 Sep;24(2):88-101.

Shogren KA, Gross JM, Forber-Pratt AJ, Francis GL, Satter AL, Blue-Banning M, Hill C. The perspectives of students with and without disabilities on inclusive schools. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities. 2015 Dec;40(4):243-60.

Gross JM, Haines SJ, Hill C, Francis GL, Blue-Banning M, Turnbull AP. Strong School-Community Partnerships in Inclusive Schools Are" Part of the Fabric of the School.... We Count on Them". School Community Journal. 2015 Oct 1;25(2):9.

Francis G, Gross J, Turnbull A, Turnbull R. The Family Employment Awareness Training (FEAT): A Mixed-method Follow-up. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation. 2013 Jan 1;39(3):167-81.