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Portrait of Deborah Smith

In 2017, Deborah Deutsch Smith became professor emerita in the School of Educational Studies at Claremont Graduate University (CGU), and she remains an active education consultant, presenter, and author. Her consulting activities range from: external evaluator on several OSEP-funded projects; analyst of funding opportunities for a non-profit organization; senior advisor to the IRIS Center, reviewing most of the IRIS modules and tools posted during the last five years and providing input to the overall work; to assisting a university in Brazil develop instruction units regarding inclusive education. Continuing some of the work of the Special Education Faculty Needs Assessment (SEFNA) project, she maintains a database of special education doctoral programs in the U.S. and has presented various findings at the 2020 HECSE Winter Summit, the 2020 HECSE Summer Institute, and a HECSE-IHE doctoral seminar. Smith continues to assist with the dissemination efforts of the IRIS Center. Most recently, she co-presented at the Teacher Education Division’s Conference held in Texas in 2021. She is currently working on the revisions of two special education textbooks.

Smith has directed many federal, state, and local projects and has received over $40.6 million in external funding to support those efforts. From 2007 to 2011, Smith served as the principal investigator of SEFNA project, which was a follow-up and expansion of her 2001 Vanderbilt Faculty Shortage Study. The four-year SEFNA study funded by OSEP to CGU determined that the nation does not have the capacity to prepare a sufficient number of new, highly effective teachers to work with students with disabilities because of a special education faculty shortage. Its results remain the primary source of information about the supply and demand of these teacher-educators.

Smith has authored 20 textbooks, more than 30 chapters and book supplements, over 60 refereed articles and reports, as well as many instructional materials for children. She has made many international presentations, including: two in 2022 at a university in Brazil, two Building Bridges Conferences (Belize and Slovenia); and a seminar series (Teacher Education and the Changing Demographics of Schooling) at the University of Edinburgh.

She has received numerous recognitions of her work. These awards include: the Pearson/International Council for Exceptional Children’s ‘Excellence in Teacher Education’ Award, being a fellow in the International Association for Research in Learning Disabilities, and the recipient of two distinguished alumni awards: one from Pitzer College and the other from the University of Washington’s College of Education.

Co-authored with Diane Pedrotty Bryant and Bryan Bryant. Teaching students with special needs in inclusive classrooms, 2nd edition. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2020 (under revision for 2023).

Co-authored with Naomi Chowdhuri Tyler and Kimberly Skow. Introduction to Contemporary Special Education: New Horizons, 2nd edition. New York: Pearson, 2018 (under revision for 2023).

“Introducing the IRIS Center and Its Resources for College Instruction about Evidence-Based Practices.” In Proceedings of the Building Bridges IV Conference on Special Education, edited by R. Boone and K. Higgins, 167-75. 2020.

Co-authored with Randall Boone and Kyle Higgins. “Learn from the situation and move forward:  A talk with Deborah Deutsch Smith.” Intervention in School and Clinic, (2019): 1-5.

“The State of Today’s Special Education Leadership Training.A report for the Higher Education Consortium for Special Education, (2018).

Co-authored with Naomi Chowdhuri Tyler. “Online resources for today’s teachers.” In Conference proceedings: Building bridges III, edited by Randall Boone and Kyle Higgins. Belize and Las Vegas: Belize Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture; the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2018.

Co-authored with Naomi Chowdhuri Tyler, et al. “The IRIS Center: A federal investment to support and improve personnel.” In Redesigning Special Education Teacher Preparation: Challenges and Solutions, edited by Jennifer L. Goeke, et al. London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2017.

Special Education Trends, Issues, & Policy Development
Disability in Schools & Society