Special Education Specialization Coordinator, Ph.D. in Education Program

The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership

Barry BirnbaumDr. Barry Birnbaum specializes in special education, assistive and adaptive technology for persons with special needs, and child advocacy.

Since 2009, Dr. Birnbaum has served as the Special Education specialization coordinator for the Ph.D. in Education program in The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership. Previously, Dr. Birnbaum taught at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago for eight years as well as at Chicago State and Nova Southeastern universities. A devoted educator, Dr. Birnbaum has held teaching and leadership positions in schools as a classroom aide, teacher, assistant principal, and principal and at universities as an assistant professor, associate professor, and full-time professor. He was named Florida’s Gifted Teacher of the Year in 1991 and IBM/Technology and Learning Teacher of the Year in 1992. Dr. Birnbaum is a member of the editorial boards for Edwin Mellen Press and Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal.

Education

  • Ed.D. in Early and Middle Childhood, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., June 1991
  • M.A. in Special Education, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, April 1980
  • B.S. in Speech, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, Ill., December 1973
  • Certificate of Competency in Assistive Technology and Teacher Education, Institute for Assistive and Training Technologies at the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, Alexandria, Va., May 2000
  • Impartial Due Process Hearing Officer, State of Illinois, March 1999

Areas of Expertise

Special Education

  • Is an expert on methods of identifying and teaching exceptional children, including those with learning disabilities and students who are emotionally disturbed.
  • Focuses on training special education teachers to build and work in inclusive environments.
  • Was awarded a grant to develop curriculum to provide in-service training for university faculty and personnel concerning ramifications of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and teacher training programs.

Assistive and Adaptive Technology for Persons With Special Needs

  • Focuses on preparing teachers and schools to integrate technology into the classroom via synthesis voice recognition and visual contact with technology, especially for nonverbal students.
  • Researches 21st century resources for teacher training to connect special educators and their students with special needs to technology.

Child Advocacy

  • Is an expert on school law and understanding special education assessment and its legal requirements as well as issues and strategies affecting today’s classrooms.
  • Is a proponent of the creation and use of individualized education programs (IEPs) to help guide the success of a child’s learning process and focuses on providing parents with knowledge and tools to advocate for their children.

Relevant Publications

  • Birnbaum, B.W. (2011). Foundations of Distance and Traditional Education Models. In The One Voice International Collection of Scholarly Works. The One Voice Institute of Elemental Ethics and Education, 2.
  • Birnbaum, B. W. (2009). Understanding special education assessment and its legal requirements. In E. P. Kritikos, Special education assessment: Issues and strategies affecting today’s classrooms. Columbus, OH: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.
  • Birnbaum, B. W. (2008). Assistive technology and the law: A guide for persons with learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 15(2), 77–84.
  • Birnbaum, B. W. (2008). English language learners with disabilities: A resource guide for educators. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press.
  • Birnbaum, B. W. (2008). Training undergraduate students to work with children with disabilities. The International Journal of Innovative Higher Education, 21, 13–16.
  • Birnbaum, B. W. (2006). Foundations of special education leadership: Administration, assessment, placement and the law. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press.
  • Birnbaum, B. W. (2006). Training special education teachers to work in inclusive environments. In Research on education. Athens: ATINER.
  • Birnbaum, B. W. (2005). Using assistive technologies for instructing students with disabilities: A survey of new resources. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press.
  • Kritikos, E. P., & Birnbaum, B. (2004). Parental perspectives of needs and services provided for families of children with mild disabilities. Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 13(2), 61–67.
  • Kritikos, E. P., & Birnbaum, B. (2003). General education and special education teacher’s beliefs regarding collaboration. Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 12(3), 93–100.
  • Birnbaum, B. W. (2001). Using computers to modify the curriculum for students with learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 11(1), 19–25.
  • Birnbaum, B. W. (1999). Connecting special education and technology for the 21st Century. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press.
  • Birnbaum, B. W. (1998). Teacher training and the Internet: Connecting special educators and their students to technology. Available at http://www.dinf.ne.jp/doc/english/Us_Eu/conf/csun_99/session0009.html.
  • Birnbaum, B. W. (1992). Developing a telecommunications mentoring program for the exceptional student. Florida ASCD Journal, October.
  • Birnbaum, B. W. (1990). Increasing academic and affective achievement of ninth grade exceptional education students through a peer assistance team program. Outstanding Educational Improvement Projects, Research Series, Volume VI, ERIC ED 343317.
  • Birnbaum, B. W. (1989). Increasing organizational skills and homework productivity with ninth grade emotionally handicapped and regular students. ERIC ED 321428.

Relevant Presentations

  • Birnbaum, B. W. (Dec. 2009). Including ALL students in diverse learning environments. Presented at the One Voice Conference and Forum.
  • Birnbaum, B. W. (May 2009). Response to intervention and children with learning disabilities. Presented at the Learning Disabilities Association of Illinois (LDA).
  • Birnbaum, B. W. (Jan. 2009). Creating inclusive schools for children with disabilities. Presented at the 7th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Education.
  • Birnbaum, B. W. (Oct. 2008). No Child Left Behind and its impact on students with disabilities. Keynote presented at the LDA Region V and VI.
  • Birnbaum, B. W. (June 2008). Improving classroom teaching through the use of technology. Presented at the World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia, & Telecommunications.
  • Birnbaum, B. W. (April 2008). Project POST: Preparing university teaching candidates to work in inclusive environments. Presented at the Council for Exceptional Children Convention and Expo.
  • Birnbaum, B. W. (April 2008). Technology for accessing the curriculum for children with special needs. Presented at TechEd.
  • Birnbaum, B. W. (March 2008). Project POST: Training general education teachers to work with children with learning disabilities. Presented at the 45th Annual International Conference, Learning Disabilities Association of America.

Professional Affiliations

  • International Association of Special Education, president elect and 2011 conference chair
  • Learning Disabilities Association of Illinois, president elect, board member and 2011 international conference chair

Professional Recognition

  • Who’s Who in the World, Marquis Who’s Who, 2007
  • Who’s Who in America, 44th ed., Marquis Who's Who, 2000
  • Who’s Who in the Midwest, 26th ed., Marquis Who’s Who, 1998–1999
  • Professionally Recognized Special Educator Teaching and School Administration, Council for Exceptional Children, Reston, Va., 1998
  • IBM/Technology and Learning Teacher of the Year, 1992
  • Florida Gifted Teacher of the Year, 1991