Jean Ann Summers, Ph.D.

Jean Ann Summers, Ph.D.

Jean Ann Summers

Dr. Summers is the Director of Research for the Family Research Unit of the Beach Center, and is a Research Professor at the Life Span Institute at the University. She has conducted research, published results, and presented both nationally and internationally on a number of topics related to family support for families of children with disabilities, family-professional partnerships, family quality of life, and early childhood education. She was Director of the Kansas University Affiliated Program (now called University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities) from 1982 to 1989. She was a Research Associate Professor at the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project in Kansas City, Kansas, where she participated in a national longitudinal study of Early Head Start programs and in an evaluation of district-wide school reform.  

In addition to supporting the Research and Training Center on Community Living, her current projects include: (1) Director of Project Success, a grant from the Kansas Department of Education to provide technical assistance to schools in improving reading and math instruction for students with disabilities in reading and math; (2) Principal Investigator of the Kansas Deaf-Blind Project, which also provides peer coaching and other training to professionals to serve students who are deaf and blind in Kansas, but in addition coordinates the annual census and identification of children who have dual sensory impairments, and provides family support services to families of these children; (3) Principal Investigator of a grant from the federal Institute for Educational Science, to develop a curriculum for preschool special educators and families to encourage the development of foundations for self-determination in young children with disabilities; and (4) Evaluation Coordinator of a grant from the National Institutes of Disability and Rehabilitation Research to develop training for college students with disabilities to enable them to negotiate reasonable accommodations for their coursework

Emeritus Faculty, Beach Center on Disability,
Research Director,
Coordinator of Family Programs,
Beach Center on Disability

Research Professor,

Ph.D., Special Education, University of Kansas, 1987
B.G.S., Human Development and Family Life, University of Kansas, 1982

Contact Information


1000 Sunnyside Avenue
4089 Dole Human Development Center
Lawrence, Kansas 66045


Recent Publications

Kyzar, K., Brady, S., Summers, J.A., Haines, S.J., & Turnbull, A.P. (2016).  Services and supports, partnership, and family quality of life: Focus on deaf-blindness.  Exceptional Children, DOI: 10.1177/0014402916655432.

Eskow, K.G., Summers, J.A., Chasson, G.S., & Mitchell, R. (2016). The association between family-teacher partnership satisfaction and outcomes of academic progress and quality of life for children/youth with autism.  Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 18-November-16

White, G., Summers, J.A., Zhang, E., & Renault, V. (2014).  Evaluating the effects of a self-advocacy training program for undergraduates.  Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disabilities, 27(3), 229-244.

Summers, J.A., White, G., Zhang, E., & Gordon, J. (2014). Providing support to postsecondary students with disabilities to request accommodations:  A framework for intervention. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disabilities, 27(3), 245-260.

Palmer, S.B., Summers, J.A., Brotherson, M.J., Erwin, E.J., Maude, S.P., Stroup-Rentier, V., Wu, Hsiang-Yi, Zheng, Y., Weigel, C.J., Chu, Szu-Yin, McGrath, G.S., & Haines, S.J.  (2013).  Foundations for self-determination in early childhood: An inclusive model for children with disabilities.  Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 33, 38-47.