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Oklahoma State University

Dr. Jennifer Jones


I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science at Oklahoma State University and serve as one of two core faculty members for the Developmental Disabilities Graduate Certificate. I earned a PhD in 2009 and was delighted to join my alma mater and home department as a tenure-track faculty member in 2013. In 2016, I was recognized as a Fellow for the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (FAAIDD) and I currently serve on the editorial board for Inclusion. I am passionate when teaching students about intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and enjoy mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in research.

My History and Experience in the Field of IDD

In 1995, I started my first “real” job as a medical social worker at an institutionalized care facility for children with IDD and intensive medical needs. ​My introduction into the field of IDD via an institution shaped my understanding of individuals and families and highlighted the need for better systems of support and meaningful opportunities for community inclusion, two areas that continue to be primary foci of my research.  My time at the institution also set into motion the unique circumstances that led my husband and me to adopt a child with IDD in 1996. Thus, like many in the field of IDD, I wear both a professional and family member hat. My work over the past 20 years has been strongly influenced by the research of leaders in the field as well as by the conversations and lived experience around my own family’s dinner table. Through building relationships and establishing trust with individuals, families, and professionals my scholarly work is able to advance research, practice, and policy.

Research Overview

My research focuses on improving the lives of individuals with IDD and their families. My appreciation and deep respect for individuals with IDD and their families informs my research and is a driving force in my desire to capture their voices and experiences. My research has three specific concentrations:

  • Services and supports for adults with IDD and their family members
  • Social and community inclusion of individuals with IDD across the lifespan
  • Self-development of adolescents and adults with IDD

Recent Awards

  • 2016 AAIDD Fellow of the Association (FAAIDD) Recipient - American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities 
  • 2015 Excellence in Community-Based Teaching and Scholarship - Oklahoma Campus Compact, State Regents for Higher Education                                                      
  • 2014 Undergraduate Research Mentor Award - College of Human Sciences


Contact Dr. Jones
Phone: 405-744-8348