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Research conference: 'New Spaces: Opening Up Physical & Social Spaces in the 21st Century'

Thursday, February 23, 2017

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Professionals for Inclusion & Social Justice will host the 13th annual Graduate Student Research Conference.

This year’s conference, New Spaces: Opening Up Physical and Social Spaces in the 21st Century, will take place Feb. 24 in the Kansas Union. The event is free and open to the public.

The keynote speaker for the conference is Alan Foley, professional speaker, associate professor and director of the Center on Human Policy at Syracuse University School of Education. Foley’s research is focused on issues of equity and access to technology, exploring the intersection of disability, technology and design.

The conference will include 42 presentations featuring 55 KU graduate students’ research on the ways in which different spaces and interactions between people and spaces create challenges and opportunities for inclusion, social justice, equity and/or access as they are broadly defined.

“We look forward to highlighting graduate student research on inclusion and social justice here at the University of Kansas,” said Christine Hancock, chair of the research conference planning committee and doctoral student in the Department of Special Education. “We looking forward to having our participants and guests at the union.”

Encouraged by the interdisciplinary nature of Professionals for Inclusion and Social Justice Research Conference planning committee, research presentations will represent a range of perspectives across disciplines, departments and academic units at KU.

Co-sponsors of the 2017 conference include the Department of Special Education, the School of Education and KU Student Senate

As a platform for graduate student research, KU Professionals for Inclusion and Social Justice offer an interdisciplinary conference that provides an opportunity for participants and observers to share ideas, collaborate and learn from one another.


10th among public universities for its master’s and doctoral programs
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#1 public program in nation for special education
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Assists public schools and other partners in all 105 Kansas counties
$938,377 in scholarship funds awarded to 420+ students
Research expenditures of $36,804,773 for 2011-12
Research from KU’s largest grant, the $24.5 million SWIFT project, assists educators, children, and families across the United States
The award-winning special education faculty published 140 refereed articles, 11 books, and 60 chapters in 2015-16
Students with intellectual disabilities are participating in KU undergraduate programs through a grant-funded KU special education program
Researchers on a $3.5 million grant are collecting data on an innovative reading program designed to teach reading to students with the most significant disabilities in seven Kansas school districts
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
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Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
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