Research within Educational and Community Supports (ECS) focuses on the development and implementation of practices that result in positive, durable and empirically verified change in the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families. Federal and state funded projects support research, teaching, dissemination and technical assistance activities.
Research workgroups within ECS currently focus on positive behavior support, inclusive schools, and transition from school to adulthood, with the following specific targets.
- The Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support Workgroup focuses on the application of positive behavior support to (a) reduced problem behavior, (b) enhanced educational, social, and employment outcomes, and (c) use of data for decision-making in school contexts. Through its technical assistance activities, this ECS unit is working with states and school districts to adopt school-wide positive behavior support and to scale-up their use of evidence-based practices. Positive behavior support efforts currently are being implemented in over 17,000 schools across 44 states, with each school working toward development of a positive social culture that will promote effective learning.
- The Transition and Post-Secondary Support Workgroup’s research projects focus on high school, postsecondary education and community-based services and supports to improve the school and post-school outcomes of adolescents and young adults with disabilities and those at-risk.
- The Prevention of Problem Behavior Workgroup conducts program evaluations and research related to prevention of problem behaviors in order to benefit schools, students, families, and communities, including, for example, the study of how increasing positive behaviors (e.g., social skills, school achievement, conflict resolution skills) is related to decreasing problem behaviors (e.g., abuse, violence, school failure and drop out), and systematic ways of assessing and improving fidelity of implementation of prevention programs.