John D. Westbrook is a managing researcher at AIR. Dr. Westbrook has worked extensively in the areas of disability research, development, knowledge translation, dissemination, technical assistance, implementation, and training at the state, regional, and national levels. His work focuses on strengthening disability and rehabilitation research to expand opportunities, choices, and service quality for persons with disabilities and their families. Dr. Westbrook directs two national knowledge translation initiatives: the Center on Knowledge Translation for Disability and Rehabilitation Research and the Center on Knowledge Translation for Employment Research.
During his tenure at SEDL (now merged with AIR), Dr. Westbrook has directed projects focused on improving knowledge translation plans and implementation processes in order to access and apply disability research. He has also worked as a dissemination specialist with the Regional Exchange project, funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
Prior to joining SEDL, Dr. Westbrook worked as a consultant and a staff development specialist for the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation. He also worked as a continuing medical education staff development specialist for the Texas Research Institute of the Mental Sciences; as a teacher and supervisor of the Life Skills Department at the Texas School for the Deaf; as an educational consultant in the Multiple Handicapped Hearing Impaired Planning Project of the Texas Education Agency; and as a special education teacher and administrator.
Dr. Westbrook has published numerous articles and papers and served on a number of disability-related organizations and projects. He has served as vice president of the National Association of Rehabilitation and Research Training Centers (NARRTC) several times and became president of the association in 2009. In 2005, he was invited to participate in the White House Conference on Aging and Disability in Washington, DC. He is a recipient of the Charlotte Toulouse Award from the Southwest Conference on Disability for improving communication between people with disabilities and disability researchers, and was selected by the National Rehabilitation Association to be a Switzer Scholar.