Katherine McDonald, PhD, FAAIDD

Photo Image of Katherine McDonald

Professor of Public Health, BBI Faculty Fellow


Email : kemcdona@syr.edu
Phone : (315) 443-5313
Fax : (315) 443-9807

Dr. Katherine (Katie) McDonald is a Professor of Public Health in the Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics and a Faculty Fellow at the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University. Dr. McDonald received her B.S. with Distinction in Human Development and Family Studies with a minor in French from Cornell University and her Ph.D. in Community and Prevention Research Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dr. McDonald uses ecological theory and social action research to understand and promote the community integration of individuals with disabilities.

Her current research spans two core areas of inquiry.

(1) Respectful, Inclusive Research with Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Dr. McDonald studies human research ethics, with an emphasis on the research participation of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Her long-term goal is to contribute an empirical perspective to respectful, inclusive research practices for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Her mixed methods work in this area includes an array of stakeholders as research partners and research participants.

(2) Participatory Action Research Addressing Disparities: Dr. McDonald conducts collaborative research with community-based organizations and community members on health, education, community and employment disparities experienced by individuals with disabilities. One long-standing collaboration is the Academic Autistic Spectrum Partnership in Research and Education (AASPIRE; www.aaspire.org ). AASPIRE conducts research on the needs of autistic adults through academic-autistic partnerships, including studies on access to quality healthcare and employment experiences. With several ADA Centers (http://adata.org/ ) and universities, Dr. McDonald conducts research on community participation among adults with disabilities. She is also working with United Cerebral Palsy to build a network of people with disabilities prepared to engage with and in patient-centered outcomes research (http://mylifewithoutlimits.org/speak-for-yourself/ ).

Dr. McDonald received the Stevens-Shapiro Fellowship from the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities (IASSID), the Early Career Award from the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), and was an International Visiting Fellow at the University of Western Sydney in Australia. Dr. McDonald is a Fellow in the AAIDD, and Chair of the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Dr. McDonald previously lived in community with individuals with and without intellectual disability in a community of L’Arche.

Curriculum Vita: Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)

Publications