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Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Special Education is to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities and their families by developing and disseminating essential skills, knowledge, and values through research, teaching, and service.


We believe:

  • the primary outcome of research, teaching, and service is improving the quality of life of people with disabilities and their families.
  • society is enriched by the inclusion and participation of diverse people, including those with disabilities, as full members of the community.
  • that our primary consumers are the U of U special education students and the ultimate obligation is to people with disabilities and their families.
  • school districts, the State Board of Education, early intervention agencies, Department of Health, and other community agencies are essential partners in improving the quality of life of people with disabilities.
  • it is vital to model collaboration in our research, teaching, and service.
  • the department has an obligation to sustain an atmosphere that supports the open communication of ideas, beliefs and opinions.
  • in participatory decision making involving students, faculty, and staff members.
  • that research, teaching, and service should be informed by the needs and perspectives of internal and external stakeholders.
  • in the continual pursuit of excellence in research, teaching, and service.
  • that progress at all levels should establish high standards and provide individualized support to each student in meeting them.
  • the faculty, staff, and students have an obligation to base their research, teaching, and service on empirically validated practices, and on legal, professional, and ethical standards.

To facilitate successful achievement of the department's mission, the faculty are committed to:

  • preparing competent professionals and citizen advocates to serve individuals with disabilities and their families.
  • seeking new knowledge that will lead to improvements in the education and lives of individuals with disabilities.
  • impacting research, policy, and practice at the university, local, state, and national level.
Last Updated: 8/31/21