Carolyn Hughes, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Special Education at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and Project Director of the federally funded Metropolitan Nashville Peer Buddy Program. In 1990, she received her doctoral degree in special education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, specializing in the areas of secondary transition and employment and self-management strategies. At Vanderbilt University, Dr. Hughes teaches courses in behavior management and the transition from school to adult life and manages several federally funded research and personnel preparation grants. She conducts research and publishes widely in the areas of self-instruction and self-determination, supporting the transition from school to adult life, and social interaction and social inclusion of high school students. Dr. Hughes is a coauthor of Teaching Self-Determination to Students with Disabilities: Basic Skills for Successful Transition (Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., 1998) and is on the editorial board of the American Journal on Mental Retardation, Education and Training in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, Journal of The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps, Journal of Behavioral Education, and Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions. In addition, Dr. Hughes taught general and special education classes in public schools in Montana for 10 years. Erik Carter
is a Professor in the Department Special Education at Vanderbilt University and a member of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. His research and teaching focuses on evidence-based strategies for supporting access to the general curriculum and promoting valued roles in school, work, and community settings for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Prior to receiving his doctorate, he worked as a high school teacher and transition specialist with youth with significant disabilities. He has published widely in the areas of educational and transition services for children and youth with significant disabilities. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Early Career Research Award from the Council for Exceptional Children and the Early Career Award from the American Association for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. His research interests include adolescent transitions from school to adult life; peer relationships and peer support interventions; students with severe disabilities, access to the general curriculum; and religion, congregational supports, and disabilities.