Deborah Olson, PhD

Senior Instructor (Retired, 12/15)
Department of Special Education & Clinical Services
University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon 97403
(541) 346-2483

1991 PhD Syracuse University: Special Education
1975 MS Ed University of Wisconsin, Superior: Counseling Psychology
1974 BA University of Wisconsin, Superior: Psychology/Social Welfare

2011-2015 Senior Instructor, Special Education & Clinical Services, University of Oregon

2003–2015 Coordinator, Special Education Minor Coordinator, University of Oregon

2003-2015 Co-Chair, Disability Studies Initiative

1988-2011 Assistant Professor/Research Associate, Education & Community Supports and Special Education & Clinical Services, University of Oregon.

2000-2003 Program Coordinator, Masters of Education in Counseling: Family & Human Services, University of Oregon.

1985-1988 Director, Parent Training Project, Parents’ Information Group, Syracuse, New York

1983-1985 Assistant Project Director, Self-Advocacy Project, Center on Human Policy, Syracuse University

1978-1981 Director, Iowa Protection and Advocacy System, Iowa Civil Rights Commission, Des Moines, Iowa

1976-1978 Health Planner, Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council, Office for Planning and Programming, Des Moines, Iowa

1975-1976 Research Assistant, Developmental Needs Assessment Project, Douglas County Mental Health/Mental Retardation, Superior, Wisconsin

Olson, D. (1991). The lives of women with mental retardation: A multiple minority perspective. Unpublished doctoral dissertation.

Olson, D. (1991). A qualitative study of women with mental retardation: The people in their lives. In G. Kiger., & Hey, S.C. (Eds.) The social organization of disability experiences. Salem, OR: The Society for Disability Studies & Willamette University.

Olson, D., Cioffi, A.,Yovanoff, P., & Mank, D. (2000) Gender differences in supported employment. Mental Retardation, 38, 89-96.

Olson, D. Cioffi, A. Yovanoff, P., & Mank, D. (2001). Employers’ perceptions of workers with mental retardation. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 16, 125-134.

Olson, D. & Ferguson, P. (1996). The meaning of relationships in a supported employment site. In D. DiLeo & Langton, D. (Eds.). Facing the future: Best practices in supported employment. St. Augustine, FL: Training Resource Network, Inc.

Olson, D. & Walters, E. (in progress) Survivor insight: the compatibility of participatory action research methods in trauma research.

Baxter, J., & Olson, D. (2000). Writing and ratios in middle school: Analysis of year two case study data. (OS2000-1). Tacoma, WA: University of Puget Sound.

Baxter, J., Woodward, J., & Olson, D. (2002). Writing in mathematics: The performance of academically low-achieving students. Learning Disabilities: Research & Practice.

Baxter, J., Woodward, J. & Olson, D. (2001). The effects of reform-based mathematics instruction on low achievers in five third-grade classrooms. Elementary School Journal, 101, 529-548.

Baxter, J., Woodward, J., Olson, D., & Robyns, J. (2002). Blueprint for writing in middle school mathematics. Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, 8(1), 52-56,

Cheremshynski, C., Lucyshyn, J. & Olson, D. (2013). Implementation of a culturally appropriate positive behavior support plan with a Japanese mother of a child with autism: An experimental and qualitative analysis. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions. 15, 242-253.

Cortez, P., Dumas, T., Joyce, J., Olson, D., Peters, S., Todahl, J., Walters, E., & Wilde, R. (2011). Survivor voices: Co-learning, re-connection and healing through community action research and engagement (CARE). Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education & Action, 5, 133-142. *Authorship in alphabetical order at wishes of research team.

Lucyshyn, J. M., Olson, D., & Horner, R. H. (1995). Building an ecology of support: A case study of a young woman with severe problem behaviors living in the community. Journal of the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps, 20, 16-30.

Shen-Miller, D.S., Olson, D., & Boling, T. (2004). Masculinity in nontraditional occupations: Ecological Constructions. American Journal of Men’s Health.

Todahl, J., Olson, D. & Walters, E. (in progress). Survivor Insight: A mixed method study of family, friend and community response to abuse and violence.

Yamamoto, S. & Olson, D. (submitted). Self-employment success and challenges: the perspectives of VR counselors and clients. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Yamamoto, S. & Olson, D. (submitted). Vocational rehabilitation employment of clients with disabilities: A descriptive study of national data from 2008 to 2012. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Research Courses
Qualitative Research in Education I and II, SPED 665/666 2001 to 2011
Qualitative Data Collection & Analysis I and II, SPECS 610, EDUC 632/636 2011 to 2015
Multi-Method Inquiry, SPED 664; EDLD 607, Seminar in Research Methods, SPED 607 (same class): 2000-2010
Disability Studies Courses
Foundations of Disability II, SPED 662, SPED 412/512 2002 to 2015
Film, Disability & Youth, SPED 410/510 S2011; INTL 410/510 S2010 (same class)
Other Courses
Child Development, SPED 410/510 F2010
Equal Opportunity: Disability, EDST 410/510 W2011

Specialized Training Project (Now: Education & Community Supports) – Research Assistant and Research Associate in Family Projects and Employment Projects 1988-2003

Center for the Study of Women in Society Research Interest Group: Women’s Health and Human Development RIG, 1999 – 2004; Violence, Gender & Society RIG, 2004-09

Trauma Healing Survivor Voices Research Team, 2009-Present

Mentor of National Science Foundation Post-doctoral Fellow, 2012-present

COE Contribution to Diversity Award, 2007
The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Equity and Inclusion Innovation Award, 2014
(as part of the Bargaining Team for United Academics)
The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Leadership Award, 2015
(Eugene Human Rights Commission)

Qualitative Inquiry as a methodology
The experience of trauma by people with disabilities;
Participatory action research methods
Compatibility of qualitative inquiry with PBS research

International Society for the Study of Trauma and Disassociation (2009). Survivor Voices: Co-learning through PAR to Promote Safety, Health & Healing. With E. Walters and J. Todahl

UO Center for the Study of Women in Society (2010) Examining the Survivor Voices of Woman with Disabilities


SPED Masters/Minor committee member – through 2015
SPECS Internal Governance committee – 2014
SPED Diversity Committee -2010-12

College of Education
Internal Governance committee, plus Internal Governance Revision Committee-2014
NTTF Workload Committee, 2014-15

University of Oregon
University of Oregon Senate, 2006- 2010, 2012-2014, 2014-2016
University of Oregon Senate Committee on the UO constitution, 2009-2011

Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects, Social Behavioral Panel member 1995-2015, Chair: 2001-13, Vice-Chair 2013-2015

Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects, Bio-Medical Panel member, 2008-11

United Academics/UO Academic Affairs Joint Implementation Committee, 2014 – 2015

UA/UO Memorandum of Understanding Committee on Intellectual Property, co-chair, 2014-15

United Academics
Organizing Committee 2009-13
Bargaining Team 2012-13
Executive Vice President 2013-2014
Collective Bargaining Committee, 2012, Chair, 2013-2015

McKenzie Personnel Services: Board Member 1997-present, President of the Board, 2001-2007, Board Secretary, 2007-present
Coalition Member: Violence against People with Disabilities, 2004-2010
Volunteer, Womenspace, 1996-2000

Dissertation Committees
Name Department, My Role Completion

Ernest Blumberg Special Education: Developmental Disabilities, Member 11/2/1998
Kevin Bourgault Critical & Sociocultural Studies in Education, Member 2/29/2016
Carla Bowers Educational Leadership, Member 6/25/2007
Thomas Collins Architecture, Institutional Representative 4/8/2015
Mary Dalmau Special Education: Developmental Disabilities/
Educational Leadership, Co-Chair 5/17/2002
Susan Dwoskin Critical & Sociocultural Studies in Education, Inst. Rep. 11/19/2015
John Flossi Educational Leadership, Member 5/19/2009
Amber Garrison Duncan Educational Leadership, Member 7/1/2014
Hafdis Gudjonsdottir Special Education: Developmental Disabilities, Member 7/28/2000
Eliza Harley Counseling Psychology, Member 5/20/2010
Robin Harwick Special Education, Member 8/22/2014
Nancy Heapes Educational Leadership, Member 2/22/2007
Pei-Fang Huyng Communication Disorders & Sciences, Member 5/14/2010
Mona Ivey-Soto Early Intervention, Member 11/21/2008
Lauren Guttman Kahn Special Education, Member 5/23/20014
Fridah Kawasha Educational Leadership, Member 7/15/2010
Karen Lawrence Early Intervention, Member 7/9/2008
Kimmy Liu Special Education, Member 8/14/2009
Allison Lombardi Special Education, Member 2/8/2010
Carla McNelly Critical & Sociocultural Studies in Education, Institutional Representative 5/5/2014
Michele Meredith Special Education, Member 3/3/2005
David Miller Educational Leadership, Member 6/10/2008
Barbara Miller Educational Leadership, Member 11/17/2008
Audrey Medina Counseling Psychology, Member open
Peter Mohn Educational Leadership, Member 11/23/15
Tina Povenmire-Kirk Special Education, Member 5/20/2009
Ajay Singh Special Education, Member 12/29/14
Kia Smith Educational Policy & Management 5/10/2004
Candice Styer Special Education: Developmental Disabilities, Member 7/31/2000
Lei Sun Communication Disorders & Sciences, Member 6/12/2008
Carolyn Swearingen Counseling Psychology, Member 5/19/2006
Rosemarie Tillman Educational Policy & Management, Member 8/18/2006
Sermsap Vorapanya Educational Leadership, Member 11/7/2008
Judith Voss Special Education: Developmental Disabilities, Member 3/2/2001
Dean Walker Counseling Psychology, Member 6/20/1997
Suzanne West Educational Leadership, Member 5/20/2013
Jennifer Westover Special Education, Member 5/14/2010
Mitchel Wilkinson Educational Policy & Management, Member 5/22/2006
Scott Yamamoto Special Education, Member 5/6/2011

Society for Disability Studies
National Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps
American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Consulting Editor for AAIDD Journal
Council for Exceptional Children