Jan Blacher, a distinguished professor in UC Riverside’s Graduate School of Education, has been awarded the 2019 Edgar A. Doll Award from Division 33 of the American Psychological Association. Presented annually, this career award recognizes an individual for his or her substantial contributions to the understanding of intellectual or developmental disabilities.
Blacher, who also serves as founding director of UCR’s SEARCH Family Autism Resource Center, has spent much of her career studying the impacts of children with developmental disabilities, such as autism, on their families.
Her recent funded work focuses on a variety of aspects of autism spectrum disorder, including the successful transitions of young children with autism into the early school grades and their transitions into young adulthood when schooling is over.
In addition, Blacher’s “Autism 101” project explored autism awareness on the college campus, how that awareness (or lack thereof) affects the experiences of college students diagnosed with the disorder, and how faculty members perceive students with autism.
Findings from the project inspired the development of "Autism Goes to College," a 2019 documentary film for which Blacher served as executive producer.
The American Psychological Association’s Division 33 is the arm of the association concerned with research and practice in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder.
Edgar A. Doll was a pioneer in this field, and the award established in his honor is the division’s highest recognition of a career marked by outstanding scientific contributions to the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Blacher was honored for her many career-long research and service contributions toward understanding and serving persons with developmental disorders and their families. She is an elected fellow of several national asssociations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and her research has been funded by both the National Institutes of Health and the Institute of Education Sciences.