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Matthew Wappett

Matthew Wappett is the Executive Director of the Utah State University Center for Persons with Disabilities (UCEDD), with an affiliate appointment as a Research Associate Professor in the USU College of Education and Human Services.  He was formerly the Co-Director of the University of Idaho Confucius Institute, and had an affiliate faculty appointment as a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.  Dr. Wappett has also served as the Associate Director of the UI Center on Disabilities and Human Development and had a faculty appointment in the UI College of Education.  Dr. Wappett’s academic background is in special education and disability studies; most of his research has been focused on creating inclusive environments to accommodate the needs of diverse populations. Dr. Wappett also conducts research and writes about the effects of laughter in the classroom and genuinely enjoys teaching people how to laugh!  Dr. Wappett’s teaching and research on creating inclusive learning environments has recently turned to the effects of environmental stress on learning and social interaction. 

Photo: Mathew Wappett

Raphael Travis

Raphael Travis’s research, practice and consultancy work emphasizes positive youth development over the life-course, resilience, and civic engagement. He also investigates music, especially Hip-Hop culture, as a source of health and well-being in people's lives. Dr. Travis is an Associate Professor and BSW Program Director at Texas State University in the School of Social Work.
Photo: Raphael Travis

Michael B. Salzman

Michael B. Salzman is a professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is a licensed psychologist and has published in the areas of cross-cultural psychology, cultural psychology, intercultural conflict, intercultural sensitivity training, multicultural counseling and cultural trauma and recovery among indigenous peoples and the effects of globalization on culture and anxiety.
Photo: Michael B. Salzman

Educational Justice and Reform

As our countries and educational systems face many formidable challenges which may negatively affect the quality and depth of the how teach and learn and where ‘reforms’ have been bandied about for decades – some implemented, some not – how can we do it better when it comes to ensuring each child or young person – regardless of orientation, disability, race, gender and economic status – can learn.

K-12 Education for All

The UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognizes inclusive education as a fundamental right to be universally guaranteed. In many countries around the world, children and young adults with disability are also granted the right to be part of the national mainstream education system, from elementary and middle school through high school. Yet in an age of budget cuts, staffing shortages and oversized classes, students with special needs don’t always receive the necessary support to facilitate their learning.

Transition to Adulthood and Post Secondary Education

The transition to adulthood is challenging for any young person, but particularly so for youth with disabilities. Recent years have seen initiatives around the world to better prepare students with disabilities for the new demands of adulthood. Common to these initiatives is a recognition that multiple factors influence transition, including type and severity of impairment, environmental barriers and supports, personal characteristics, and available socioeconomic resources.

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