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Debra Hart

Educational Coordinator

B.S., Boston University
M.S., Simmons College
Ph.D. (ABD), Brandeis University, Heller Graduate School

Debra Hart, educational coordinator at the Institute for Community Inclusion, has over 20 years of experience working with children, youth, and adults with disabilities. Debra has directed over 20 federal and state projects. Many of these projects have focused on assisting teachers in creating access to and participation and progress in general curricula and in creating better postsecondary education and employment outcomes for students with disabilities. Her most relevant recent experience includes training around universal design for learning and technology, media, and materials for school districts in Massachusetts; training and technical assistance on creating access to college for students with significant disabilities for college statewide; and work with the National Center for the Study of Postsecondary Educational Supports, a Rehabilitation Research and Training Center at the University of Hawaii. She has also directed several statewide systems change projects on the transition of youth with disabilities into adult life and the inclusion of students with significant disabilities in all aspects of school life (K-12).

Debra has produced numerous training documents and published articles related to creating access to postsecondary education for students with significant disabilities, the role of assistive and instructional technology, coordinating and managing services and supports in secondary, postsecondary, and employment settings, and strategies and instructional practices that assist students with disabilities in participating in school, college, and employment. Debra has training at master's and doctoral levels in disabilities and social policy. She has teacher certification in general education, as a consulting teacher, and as a teacher of students with moderate and severe disabilities.

ICI publications by Debra Hart

Press Release: Think College awarded $2.5M Stepping Up Technology Implementation Grant

Think College at the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) has been awarded a $2.5 million Stepping Up Technology Implementation Grant from the US Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs. The project will fund the development of Future Quest Island - Explorations: Advancing College and Career Awareness for Elementary Students with and without Disability. (10/2018)

Press Release: Institute for Community Inclusion and TransCen, Inc. to Research Postsecondary Education for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities

The Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts Boston, in partnership with TransCen, Inc. in Maryland, has received $1.5 million over three years from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research to establish the Center for Postsecondary Education for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities. (12/2008)

Press Release: ICI to Enhance Postsecondary Education for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

As a result of the development of postsecondary education options for youth with developmental disabilities, the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston, in collaboration with seven University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) (University of Minnesota, University of Hawaii, University of Delaware, The Ohio State University, Vanderbilt University, University of South Carolina, and University of California Los Angeles), along with the Association for University Centers on Disabilities has received a grant for $4 million, to be distributed over five years, from the federal Administration on Developmental Disabilities to establish the Consortium for Postsecondary Education for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities. (12/2008)

Postsecondary Education Options for Students with Intellectual Disabilities

An overview of research on postsecondary education and options, with a bibliography and recommendations for improving access to college. (8/2006)

Postsecondary Education as a Critical Step Toward Meaningful Employment: Vocational Rehabilitation's Role

Research shows that access to postsecondary education makes an enormous difference in the employability of people with disabilities. This brief focuses on the rehabilitation outcomes of people who received education supports from Vocational Rehabilitation agencies. (8/2001)

Select outside publications by Debra Hart

Hart, D., Zimbrich, K., & Whelley, T. (2002). Coordination and management of services and supports in secondary, postsecondary, and employment settings. National Center on Secondary Education and Transition. Minneapolis, MN: Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota.

Hart, D., Zafft, C., & Zimbrich, K., (2001). Creating access to postsecondary education for all students. Journal for Vocational Special Needs Education.

Hart, D., Zimbrich, K., & Ghiloni, C. (2001). Interagency partnerships and funding: Individual supports for youth with significant disabilities as they move into postsecondary education and employment options. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Hart, D., et al. (2000). Promising practices in technology: supporting access to, and progress in, the general curriculum. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. Also available online at http://www.air.org/techideas.

Hart D., & Sotnik P. (1997). A world full of possibilities: Common practices for making a job accessible. Supported Employment InfoLines, 8(7).

ICI: promoting inclusion for people with disabilities