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Lecturer will discuss ‘The Future of Disability’

Thursday, March 15, 2018

LAWRENCE —The University of Kansas Department of Special Education will welcome Phil Ferguson, professor emeritus at Chapman University, to present at the Edward L. Meyen Distinguished Lecture Series.

The 2018 event will begin with a casual reception at 4 p.m. March 28 in the Hancock Room of the Oread Hotel, with the formal lecture to follow shortly after. The event is free and open to the public.

Ferguson’s lecture, “The Future of Disability: The Evolution of the Concept and the Experience,” will explore the relatively new field of disability studies, including the field’s positioning as a “critical friend” to more traditional disciplines engaged in the study of disability. The lecture will also explore the discipline’s examination of disability through the lenses of disability as a social concept and disability as personal experience.

“As a leading intellectual in special education and disability studies, Phil Ferguson’s historical and qualitative research linking intellectual disability, families, professional practice and social policy is unsurpassed,” said Tom Skrtic, Williamson Family Distinguished Professor of Special Education at KU.

Ferguson began at Chapman University during the fall semester of 2007. Prior to that he held the E. Desmond Lee Endowed Chair for the Education of Children with Disabilities at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He was also a faculty member at the University of Oregon for 15 years. Ferguson is a past president of the Society for Disability Studies and was chair of the Board of Directors for Missouri Protection and Advocacy Services. 

The Edward L. Meyen Distinguished Lecture Series addresses cutting-edge issues that affect people with disabilities, including education, families, research and instructional resources.  Endowed by Stan Love of the Love Publishing Co., this lecture series honors the enduring legacy of Professor Edward L. Meyen, who provided leadership for learning and innovation throughout his career at KU.

More information about the Edward L. Meyen Distinguished Lecture series can be found here.

The top-ranked Department of Special Education is housed in the KU School of Education. The School of Education is a nationally ranked school, preparing educators as leaders.    


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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