Barbara J. Smith, Ph.D.

Barbara J. Smith, Ph.D.

Dr. Smith received her master's degree in early childhood special education and doctorate in special education and public policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her areas of interest include early childhood special education/early intervention policies, systems and program development; leadership and collaboration; and the scaling up of evidence-based practices.

Dr. Smith has held early childhood and early childhood special education positions for the past thirty five years including early childhood teacher, Executive Director of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children; Policy Specialist, Council for Exceptional Children (CEC); and Program Specialist, Office of Special Education Programs, US Department of Education. She has served as a consultant on state and national early childhood policy, expert witness in right to treatment litigation, prepared and delivered legislative testimony to the Congress as well as state legislatures, and has worked with many parent and professional groups in their state policy efforts.

In an effort to help shape quality inclusive early childhood environments for all children, including those with special needs, she has worked closely for many years with NAEYC and other early childhood leadership organizations including serving on the NAEYC Commission to develop the current program accreditation criteria. Dr. Smith has authored over 20 peer-reviewed journal articles, and 15 books and chapters one of which was the first book for administrators on preschool inclusion: The Administrator's Policy Handbook for Preschool Mainstreaming (1993). She also chaired the most recent effort to establish the DEC Recommended Practices in Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education to help guide the field in improving services for young children with special needs, their families and those who work with them.

She is currently Co-Principal Investigator of an OSEP funded doctoral program at UCD in early intervention and early childhood special education policy and collaborative leadership, and is involved in the OSEP funded national Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA). She is the recipient of several awards and honors.

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