Dr. Karen Erickson
Dr. Erickson is the David E. and Dolores (Dee) Yoder Distinguished Professor of Literacy and Disability Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), where she serves as the Director of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies and is a Professor in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences. She earned a Ph.D. in Special Education and Literacy in 1995 from UNC. A former special education teacher, she has focused much of her scholarly work on children with significant disabilities, particularly those who are unable to use speech as a primary means of communication. In recent years, her collaborative scholarship has led to the development of Tar Heel Reader (https://tarheelreader.org/), an open-source, universally accessible online library of books for beginning readers; the Dynamic Learning Maps Professional Development resources for teachers of students with significant intellectual disabilities (http://dlmpd.com/); and Project CORE (http://www.project-core.com/), a comprehensive implementation program, supports, tools, and training resources for the delivery of universal core vocabulary and augmentative communication.
Dr. David Koppenhaver
Dr. Koppenhaver is a Professor in the Department of Reading Education and Special Education (RESE) at Appalachian State University (ASU). He earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction in 1991 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). A former middle grades language arts teacher, he holds NC teaching certification in reading, middle grades language arts, and elementary education. His research focuses on literacy in children with significant disabilities including autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, complex communication needs, and multiple disabilities. In 1998 he co-founded the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies at UNC and in 2002 was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Queensland in Australia. His current research projects include studies of visual attention to print in young children with Rett syndrome, interactive shared reading in children with significant disabilities and complex communication needs, writing in adolescents with emotional and behavioral disorders, and reading abilities of adolescents with Williams Syndrome.