Scholarship on disabilities and the policies shaping university research

Projects

Conferences and Publications: Science

Our scientific conferences bring together a small group of experts who craft solutions to disability by working across their academic disciplines -- neuroscience, psychology, behavioral science, linguistics, education, and communication disorders. Six edited volumes are available for purchase from the American Psychological Association, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, and Kluwer Academic Publishers. Book topics include:

  • children's language development and disabilities
  • the role of the environment and genetics in disorders such as fragile X, autism, and specific language impairment
  • aging and communication
  • prevention of self-injurious behavior among individuals with mental retardation and autism
  • the latest science on reading

Conferences and Publications: Research Mission of Public Universities 
The Center established the series: The Research Mission of Public Universities. At the annual retreat, faculty and administrators evaluate research policies that take academe well beyond the ivory tower. Five state universities have committed to this project: The University of Kansas, Kansas State University, the University of Missouri at Columbia, Iowa State University, and the University of Nebraska. The white papers are available online and in print on topics such as:

The Merrill Center has also become a facilitator of new ventures in research policy. At our conference on scholarly journals and electronic publishing, participants issued a statement of principles that has been endorsed and discussed throughout the nation. It is beginning to change the way scientific findings are published. From the 2001 conferences on biomedical research, we formed the Kansas City Coalition for Excellence in Life Sciences (KC-CELS).

Web Site Outreach
In 2002, the Merrill Center launched a public outreach project through its web site. In The Know gives the general reader accurate information about disabilities, aging, and children's language development.In The Know also gives taxpayers a look at what it takes to promote topflight research at public universities.


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
KU Today