New Interdisciplinary Training Opportunity for Individuals Interested in SCSD Master’s Degree

GraphicKiDDs K-12 Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

The School of Communication Science and Disorders (SCSD) at FSU recently received a federal grant award from the Office of Special Education Programs of the Department of Education to support students pursuing masters-level training from interdisciplinary backgrounds including Speech-Language Pathology (SLP), Occupational Therapy (OT), Physical Therapy (PT), and Special Education (SPED) at partnering institutes of higher education, Florida State University (FSU) and Florida Agricultural and Mechanic University (FAMU). The $1,244,046 grant was awarded to FSU and FAMU to implement the interdisciplinary training project, titled K-12 Individuals with Developmental Disabilities, which represents a joint project between SCSD faculty Drs. Carla Wood, Michelle Therrien, and Andrea Barton-Hulsey; FSU Special Education faculty Drs. Jenny Root and Kelly Whalon; and FAMU Faculty Drs. Dawn Brown-Cross, PT and Aurelia Alexander, OT. Through the joint project, 45 masters students will receive funding support for interdisciplinary training over a 5-year period.

The KiDDs project is designed to provide interdisciplinary personnel preparation including PTs, OTs, SLPs, and Special Educators to serve children experiencing high-intensity needs that warrant innovative interdisciplinary approaches to integrate insights from multiple disciplines.  This includes children with disabilities (e.g. intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, deaf/hard of hearing, autism spectrum disorders, and multiple disabilities) with a focus on children from low-income culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.  The KiDDs project infuses specialized coursework in communication partner training; physical considerations for optimizing outcomes; severe disabilities: multicultural multilingual considerations; interdisciplinary embedded instruction and language and literacy interventions for facilitating outcomes for children with disabilities.

Trainees will develop in-depth knowledge and skills in (1) evidence-based assessment and instructional approaches for students with high-intensity needs (2) interdisciplinary collaboration and teaming and (3) cultural responsiveness. The KiDDs program draws upon the strengths and expertise of four graduate programs to provide trainees with specialized seminars in and expertise of specialized mentors who are highly qualified professionals as well as cultural expert community partners including local area educational agencies.  Through a combination of specialized seminars, interdisciplinary engagement, family-professional partnerships, and hands-on experiences in joint practica, trainees will be able to work effectively on educational teams to develop, implement, evaluate and disseminate evidence-based practices for culturally responsive assessment and intervention for children with disabilities in educational settings.

The KiDDs project will be accepting applications January-March 2020 for consideration for funding beginning in August 2020.  If you are interested in applying and participating in the interdisciplinary training project, please contact project personnel in your discipline area including Speech-Language Pathology: Carla Wood (, Michelle Therrien (, or Andrea Barton-Hulsey (; Occupational Therapy: Aurelia Alexander (; Physical Therapy: Dawn Brown-Cross (; and Special Education Jenny Root (, or Kelly Whalon (