Jessica McQueston

Special Education (University of Wisconsin – Madison)

Background: Before beginning my doctoral studies in the fall of 2015 at UW, I was a special educator, general educator, and literacy interventionist in New Mexico. During this time, I was able to work with students from many diverse backgrounds and a variety of language needs. I was able to work with students (K-6, mostly grades 2-5), some who required a lot of supports, including AAC devices, to be included with their peers. I was fortunate to always work at schools that allowed me to design my own curriculum. Being able to design and implement interventions and academic instruction that allowed students to be successfully included, both socially and academically, has led me to my current research interests.

Current Interests: My research interests include literacy instruction, inclusive education, students with significant support needs, students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and ABA. I am currently working on my dissertation, which is a comprehension literacy intervention for upper elementary students with significant support needs in inclusive settings. I am hoping to recruit students who may use an AAC device and who are also from diverse backgrounds, including ELLs. During a pilot study of this intervention, I worked with a student who utilized an AAC device and understood two languages.

I am interested in how to embed AAC with academic instruction in inclusive settings and how AAC can lead to independence. Additionally, I have worked over the last three years to introduce AAC and AT to pre-service educators on campus.

Dissertation Chair: Dr. Andrea Ruppar

Sample Presentation/Publication and Rationale: McQueston, J., & Ruppar, A. (2019, January) Ask Yourself: Implications from a Comprehension Self-Questioning Strategy for Elementary Students. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the International Conference on Autism, Intellectual Disability, and Developmental Disabilities; CEC- Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities. Maui, HI.

“Ask Yourself” is the comprehension literacy intervention I will be using for my dissertation. This work is from a pilot study, which included one elementary aged student with significant support needs who was multilingual. An individualized set of materials and adaptation of the Ask Yourself strategy was developed in collaboration between myself and the student’s special education teacher. While limitations in study design prevent the current study from demonstrating a functional relationship between use of the Ask Yourself strategy and the participant answering comprehension questions, the participant’s improvement was recognized by his teacher and parents, which has promising implications for future research.

TASH Presentation: Ask Yourself (2018)      PDF

Presentation Topic: Comprehension Literacy Intervention for Elementary Students

Discussion Topic:Finding and recruiting participants who are in inclusive settings (NOT in segregated settings).

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