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Kathryn Heller

Ph.D. in Special Education
M.Ed. in Special Education
B.S.N. in Nursing and Philosophy (double major)
Physical and health disabilities
Literacy for students with physical disabilities
Physical health care procedures in schools
Assistive technology
Working with students with terminal or life-threatening conditions in schools

Kathryn Heller, Ph.D., R.N. is a professor in special education at Georgia State University and directs the graduate program in physical and health disabilities. She has a B.S.N. in Nursing and Philosophy and a M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Special Education. She is a registered nurse with experience in pediatric nursing and has worked more than 10 years in intensive care units or hospice, including pediatric hospice. She began her career in teaching as a classroom teacher to students who had physical and health disabilities, intellectual disabilities, traumatic brain injury, visual impairments and multiple disabilities.

Dr. Heller has had federal and state grants throughout her career (e.g., Sensory Assistance Project, Personnel Prep grant, Bureau for Students with Physical Disabilities). She has also has made numerous national presentations, severed on several advisory boards, held several offices on national committees and organizations, and co-authored several books, book chapters, and articles pertaining to students with physical ad health disabilities. One of her primary interests is in providing effective educational instruction and health care for students with physical, health and multiple disabilities.


Heller, K.W., Coleman, M.B., Best, S., and Emerson, J. (2013). “Teacher’s knowledge and support systems regarding students with terminal illness.” Physical Disabilities: Education and Related Service, 32, 3-29.

Garrett, J. T., Heller, K.W., Fowler, L. P., Alberto, P. A., Fredrick, L.D., and O’Rourke, C. M. (2011). “Using speech recognition software to increase writing fluency for individuals with physical disabilities.” Journal of Special Education Technology, 26, 25-41.

Avant, J., and Heller, K.W. (2011). “Examining the effectiveness of Touch Math with students with physical disabilities.” Remedial and Special Education, 32, 309 – 321.

Heller, K. W. and Avant, M. J. (2011). “Health care procedure considerations and individualized health care plans.” Physical Disabilities: Education and Related Service, 30, 6-29.

Heller, K.W., Forney, P.E., Alberto, P.A., Best, S. and Schwartzman, M.N. (2009). “Understanding physical, health, and multiple disabilities, 2nd Edition.” Upper Saddle River, N.J.; Merrill/Prentice Hall.

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