We value diversity and interdisciplinary collaborations.

Traditionally, services provided to the client are fragmented. For instance, special education teacher, social worker, medical doctor, and counselor may be good at their area of expertise, but the lack of communication between these professionals may leave the individuals with disabilities with no options but to navigate the service system on their own. We believe communication should begin among the professionals. It is through interdisciplinary collaborations; we can truly provide holistic services and improve quality of life.


The gap between field practice and academia is without a doubt exist. Whereas the field practitioners may have real-life experiences of what the most necessary services are, the message does not travel as far as to academia. On the other hand, while researchers spend time and efforts conducting rigorous research, the results may not be informative to the field and that the research topic may not be of interest for the targetted population. Knowing this, we propose all the work to be done by using a participatory research approach which every step of the work would involve stakeholders include targetted population (e. g., people with autism spectrum disorders), parents/caregivers, employers, and researchers. We believe that only through the collaborations of these stakeholders, we can develop the most relevant and timely services.


Historically, academia has little communication with practitioners in the field. Although the idea of evidence-based practice (EBP) has been the emphasis, the usability and generalizability of the research findings continue to be a concern. In addition, most of the research findings are disseminated via scholarly journals, which may not be easily accessible for practitioners. Knowing these challenges, we propose to involve practitioners right from the research design, data collection, and result interpretation. The collaboration between the practitioners and researchers would bridge the gap between the two and potentially expedite the reaction speed of the research informed intervention.


Dr. Connie Sung

Associate Professor,
Michigan State University

Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education

Dr. Hung Jen Kuo

Assistant Professor,
Michigan State University

Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education