Melissa Storm Edmiston, a principal researcher at AIR, has over 20 years of experience in education, training, technical assistance and evaluation work related to students with disabilities. Dr. Edmiston has expertise in universal design for learning (UDL), instructional strategies, and providing students with disabilities access to the general education classroom. She currently leads the Vermont Universal Design for Learning Professional Development project and the Vermont Mathematics Professional Development project, providing TA and training to administrators, teachers, and coaches in Vermont on topics related to UDL, mathematics, and access.
Dr. Edmiston also serves as co-project director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) IDEA Analysis, Communication, Dissemination, and Meetings Support Contract. In this role, she oversees a team to coordinate policy requests, evaluations, national workgroups, and meetings for OSEP, as well as to develop communications projects for dissemination. For the last nine years, Dr. Edmiston has coordinated the annual OSEP Project Directors’ Conference for over 900 participants in Washington, DC.
Dr. Edmiston’s previous TA and training work at AIR includes serving as TA lead for the National Center on Intensive Interventions; directing the Illinois Response to Intervention (RTI) Project, where she supervised the development of online RTI modules for the state; leading the Special Education Component of the New York City Tools Development project, tasked with developing online tools for special educators in NYC; and serving as co-task leader of TA for the Access Center, where she coordinated efforts for three regions and served on the knowledge development and dissemination team, designing and delivering direct trainings and train-the-trainer sessions. Additionally, Dr. Edmiston served as a team lead for the NYC Audit Project, coordinating site visits and data collection at schools throughout NYC identified as needing improvement in their education of students with disabilities.
Dr. Edmiston trains and presents at state, local and national events and conferences on topics related to evidence-based instruction and assessment of students with disabilities, and teacher training and professional development. She is also on the board of the Tanzania Education Fund. Dr. Edmiston taught special education for seven years in Louisiana, Colorado, and Virginia public schools.