Riley's forty years in the field of special education advocacy helped students in innumerable ways
Maureen Riley’s forty-year advocacy in special education, her support of students with and without disabilities, her nationally recognized contributions to federal and legal research on how to design and deliver the appropriate educational program for the diagnosed special needs of a specific student, represent a sustained and lasting legacy to three generations of Lesley alumni, their families and this nation. Dr. Riley’s roles as an Educational Child Advocate and Parental Surrogate have impacted public policy in areas ranging across cognitive, psychiatric and physical disabilities. At Lesley she contributed to the development of the Writing Center, served on the founding committee to establish the Journal of Pedagogy, Pluralism and Practice, and was among the original writers of the Faculty Assembly Policies and Procedures Guide. At the state and level she has served on external certification teams evaluating programs for Teachers of Children with Moderate and Severe Special Needs in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. For the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Research she directed two 4-year studies and one 3-year twenty-year review and synthesis of the literature on special needs children. She has served on several national task forces on National Standards for English Language Arts, including the American Educational Research Association, as well as on committees at Columbia Teachers College, McGraw-Hill, the National Science Foundation, and Pearson Evaluation Systems. She has published with nationally renowned researchers in the field of Special Education, such as Donald Deshler and H. Lee Swanson. She has given presentations at the International Conference on Teaching for Intelligence in Vancouver, British Columbia, the National Learning Disabilities Association of Canada, the Learning Disabilities Association of Newfoundland and the Special Education Department, at Fukuoka University, Japan, where she conducted presentations and classroom consultation. One student declared that, “It was worth my whole tuition to work with Maureen Riley.” Dr. Riley’s generosity has expanded the life chances of students, while her grace has informed how we should all endeavor to live our lives.
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