985450 Nebraska medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-5450
Mark Smith, M.S., an Omaha native, joined the Munroe-Meyer Institute (MMI) in January, 2003 as its Consumer/Family Coordinator. He was promoted to MMI faculty in 2015. HIs educational experience includes earning Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Psychology from the University of Nebraska. He is the parent of and sibling to family members with disabilities. Mark has done extensive work in individual and family advocacy, personnel preparation, clinical services, and public policy regarding disabilities across the age span at the local, state, and national levels.
In his position, Mark has served as a resource for people with disabilities and their families who are seeking support to meet their needs both individually and systemically. Mark has helped hundreds of individuals, parents, and other family members locate and access needed services and supports.
Mark supervises the University Center on Excellence in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities grant training program, and supervises a Developmental Disabilities Council grant on individual and family leadership and advocacy training. He also works within the MMI Interdisciplinary Training Program, including serving as a Family Faculty to MMI’s Leadership Enhancement in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND ) program. One of the many programs Mark helps direct is Project DOCC (Delivery of Chronic Care), a UNMC training program where families of children with special healthcare needs serve as trainers for Pediatric and Family Practice Medical Residents along with MMI Interdisciplinary trainees on family-centered and chronic care concerns. Mark has also conducted grant-funded training and other trainings and presentations to a variety of audiences on disability leadership, self-advocacy, Special Education and inclusion, parenting children with disabilities, addressing behavior problems, and law enforcement and developmental disabilities. To this end, Mark has presented to disability organizations, at conferences, and guest taught university students on these topics at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and Lincoln and as well as at UNMC.
Mark also is involved in disability-related systems change activities in Nebraska and nationally as the Institute representative and advisor to numerous organizations and efforts, including the Executive Board of the Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children; the Executive Board of the Association of University Centers; on federal task forces and standing committees; as a board President of the Nebraska Parent Training and Information Center; as a technical advisor on Early Intervention policy and family-centered practices to the Nebraska Department of Education; as Institute representative to the Nebraska Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities; and serves on the UNMC Vice-Chancellor’s Legislative Advisory.
M.S., Educational Psychology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, 1996
B.A., Psychology, University of Nebraska Omaha, Omaha, NE, 1989
Guest-taught classes (2009-2013) at the Nebraska-Omaha campus (Graduate Seminar in Special Education) and Nebraska-Lincoln campus (Graduate Seminar in School Psychology)
Research Interests and Projects:
Leadership and Advocacy training and support to individuals with disabilities and family members. Cultural and Linguistic Competency and disparities in healthcare equity for individuals with disabilities from diverse, traditionally underserved backgrounds. Early Intervention policy and practice. Disability Legislation and Policy. Community inclusion and Deinstitutionalization regarding disability services and supports.
Selected Publications: (within the last 5 years)
- Smith, M., Brandt, J. (2017) Nothing About Us Without Us: Increasing Leadership Opportunities through Advocacy for People with Disabilities. Association of University Centers on Disabilities. Silver Springs, Maryland
- Smith (2016) DEC Feedback Paper on Family Engagement to the Federal Interagency Planning Board. Division of Early Childhood. Denver CO
- Smith (2015) DEC Written testimony on the Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Programs to the Federal Interagency Planning Board. Division of Early Childhood. Los Angeles, CA
- McGill Smith, P., Lauritzen A., Smith, M. (2015) The Promise Claimed: The ADA Has Improved Our Children’s Lives...and There’s More to Do. Ignite Magazine. University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis, MN
- ADAPT Nebraska
- Arc of Nebraska
- Association of University Centers on Disabilities
- Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children
- Early Intervention Family Alliance
- Nebraska Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities
- 1995 Governor’s Certificate of Achievement: for the Implementation of the Early Intervention Program
- 2002 Certificate of Appreciation in Recognition of service provided to the Federal Interagency Coordinating Council, U.S Department of Education
- 2004 Community Leader Award, Arc of Omaha
- 2009 Silver U Award, UNMC
- 2016 Certificate of Recognition for Dedicated Service to Collaboration and Systems-Building, the Together for Kids and Families Project