Professor; Coordinator of Evaluation Studies Program; Director of Institute on Community Integration
102D Pt H
150 Pillsbury Dr SE
Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1987, educational policy and administration
M.S., Mankato State University, 1977, rehabilitation counseling
B.A., University of Minnesota, 1973, sociology
I started in this field as a public school rehabilitation counselor. I had a brother with a severe disability and that, coupled with more than five years of experience in schools, led to my developing a strong interest in what happens to individuals with disabilities both in terms of educational opportunities and post-school outcomes. I eventually earned a doctorate in special education policy and administration, with a specialization in the design of transition and employment training programs for individuals with disabilities.
In addition to my role as professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), I currently direct the Institute on Community Integration (ICI), a federally-designated University Affiliated Program that focuses on developmental disabilities. ICI carries out three core activities—preservice and continuing education, research and dissemination, and service and outreach across four program areas: early childhood services, school-age services, transition and employment services, and adult services/community living. ICI began in 1985 with fewer than 20 staff, today the Institute encompasses more than 150 faculty, academic and support personnel, research assistants, and students. ICI supports more than 45 students in their graduate studies at the University of Minnesota, representing the disciplines of special education, school psychology, health, social work, and others.
My research interests include studies on the post-school outcomes on youth with disabilities, access and participation of young adults with disabilities in postsecondary education programs, studies on systems change and program improvement, cost-benefit analysis, and other policy-related research. Over the years, I have served as a principal investigator and director of numerous federal and state research, training, and demonstration projects with a focus on these and other research interests. I also routinely serve as a consultant to several national, regional, and state organizations, including the U.S. Department of Education, Department of Labor, Rehabilitation Services Administration, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Office of Special Education Programs, Senate and House congressional committees, and others. I also serve on the editorial boards of several professional journals in special education and disability policy.
Johnson, D. R. (2005). Supported employment trends: Implications for transition-age youth. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 29(4), 243-247.
Johnson, D. R. & Bremer, C. (2005). Comparison of the secondary education and transition provisions of the 1997 and 2004 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals.
Sharpe, M. N., Johnson, D. R., & Murray, H. (2004). An analysis of instruction accommodations and assistive technologies used by postsecondary graduates with disabilities. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 17(4), 1-9.
Ysseldyke, J., Nelson, R., Christenson, S, Johnson, D.R., Dennison, A, Triezenberg, H., Sharpe, M, and Hawes, M. (2004). What we know and need to know about the consequences of high stakes testing for students with disabilities. Exceptional Children, 71(1), 75-96.
Johnson, D. R., Stodden, R. A., Emanuel, E. J., Luecking, R., & Mack, M. (2002). Current challenges facing secondary education and transition services: What research tells us. Exceptional Children, 68(4), 519-531.
Thurlow, M., & Johnson, D. R. (2000). High-stakes testing and students with disabilities. Journal of Teacher Education, 51(4), 305-314.
Lehr, C. A., Johnson, D. R., Bremer, C. D., Cosio, A., & Thompson, M. (2004). Increasing rates of school completion: Moving from policy and research to practice. Minneapolis, MN: Institute on Community Integration, National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, University of Minnesota.
Johnson, D. R., & Thurlow, M. L. (2004). A national study on graduation requirements and diploma options for youth with disabilities. Minneapolis, MN: National Center on Secondary Education and Transition Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota.