Welcome to My Research Lab Page!


Asst. Professor of Human & Organizational Development, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University

B.S., Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign.

M.A., Speech-Language Pathology, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign.

Ph.D., Human Resource Development, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign.

                                                               Learn more about the rest of our team here!

Research Interests:

I am an Assistant Professor at the Department of Human & Organizational Development with a secondary appointment in the Department of Special Education and a tertiary appointment in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Vanderbilt University. I am a core member of the faculty and teach across all our programs. I am also a member of Vanderbilt’s Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development. My research agenda adopts a social-ecological framework and looks at issues surrounding identity, equity and empowerment for individuals who are different in some way, with a large focus on disability. I have a strong background in qualitative methodology. My work cuts across education (elementary, secondary, postsecondary), sports, work, and community contexts. I present regularly at state, national, and international conferences. I was honored by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education as a 2018 Emerging Scholar. The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) has recognized my leadership abilities by awarding her the prestigious 2013 Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award, given to emerging leaders within the national disability community.  I have appeared on several television programs and radio shows including: NPR; The Stream; and Sesame Street; and have been quoted in the national print press, including The Boston Globe, The New York Times, Huffington Post, Fast Company, Forbes, USA Today, and Runner’s World. I was honored by The White House as a Champion of Change in 2013 and had an opportunity to participate in a roundtable discussion with President Obama about disability policy issues.

Learn more about Dr. Forber-Pratt’s research with this video profile:

Current Research Projects:

Development and Validation of Disability Identity Development Scale
  • To explore adult disability identity using the newly created and validated tool the Disability Identity Development Scale·
  • To develop youth, parent/caregiver/sibling version of measure
Evaluation of National Paralysis Resource Center Programs & Services
  • To evaluate the efficacy of the National Paralysis Resource Center programs and services operated by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
  • To conduct a meta-evaluation of the existing evaluation systems and procedures through a process evaluation
  • To conduct outcome evaluation of the National Paralysis Resource Center’s programs and services
Exploring Disability Identity Among Youth
  • Analyzing interview data from teens with disabilities about their identities
Lived Experiences of Disability Sport
  •  To explore the lived experiences of athletes, coaches and administrators participating in countries with developing Paralympic sport programs
Disability Culture Twitter Project
  • Analyzing tweets using #disability

Past Research Projects:

A Case Study of Disability Inclusion Practices in an Indian School & Home
  • Identify the circumstances that led to the emergence, growth and sustainability of the Icheche Dana Learning Center
  • Describe the supports provided to students with disabilities at the Icheche Dana Learning Center
  • Document the ways in which an inclusive mentality from the Icheche Dana Learning Center permeates to inclusive living at home at Shishur Sevay
  • Identify the teaching/staff resources available about disability and inclusion
Social-Emotional Learning of High School Students with Disabilities
  • To explore SEL skill development and motivational interviewing strategies to help students with disabilities
Pre-K Perceptions of Inclusion
  • To explore the perceptions of disability by pre-k students
  • To explore the meaning-making around inclusion from pre-k teachers and parents of pre-k students

We have a vibrant and popular lab with undergraduate, professional and graduate students all involved with these projects. We have several other new projects on the horizon too, but these are core projects that we are all currently working on. I welcome the opportunity to work with you. Interested in joining my research lab? Please contact me!

Teaching Philosophy and Methods

My philosophy of teaching evolved from years of educating others both in and outside of the traditional classroom boundaries. My passion for education runs deep. I once was told by a high school teacher ‘Why are you taking this honors class? It’s not like you can go to college anyway’; this serves as the platform for my teaching philosophy. I believe my mission as a teacher is:

  • To encourage all individuals that they have the abilities to learn regardless of differences
  • To discover what makes my students tick and spark that enthusiasm for learning
  • To plant a seed for lifelong learning

Past and current courses I have taught at Vanderbilt can be found here.

Professional Affiliations:

Key Links:


© 2020 Vanderbilt University ·
Site Development: University Web Communications




Recent Posts

Browse by Month