About Us

About Us

Our Story
We provide high quality information to people navigating the world of disability. We are located at the Warner School of Education in LeChase Hall on the River Campus of the University of Rochester.  Our work is supported by the U.S. Department of Education, the Warner School of Education, and Friends of the Warner School.

Our work began in 2008 through a partnership with the B. Thomas Golisano Foundation and the University of Rochester.  Formerly known as the Institute for Innovative Transition, our work was made possible thanks to the generous support of the B. Thomas Golisano Foundation, an investment of over $2 million dollars. Additional funders included the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, the U.S. Department of Education, and Friends of the Warner School of Education. 

Our Team

Martha Mock, PhD
585-276-3363
mmock@warner.rochester.edu

Martha Mock, PhD, is a professor and director of the Center on Disability and Education at the Warner School of Education and Human Development at the University of Rochester. Mock has worked alongside and on behalf of individuals with disabilities and their families as a special education teacher, professor, and advocate for over two decades. Mock is widely known for her work in the area of college options for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). She teaches courses in inclusion, disability, and early childhood. Mock earned her BS in Psychology from the University of Richmond, her MEd from Virginia Commonwealth University, and her PhD in Special Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Mary Judge, MS
585-275-2454
mjudge@warner.rochester.edu

Mary Judge, MS, is the assistant director for the Center on Disability and Education, as well as the access coordinator for the Warner School of Education and Human Development at the University of Rochester. She brings over 20 years of experience working with people with disabilities and their families in the greater Rochester community. Mary earned her MS degree from Saint John Fisher College in Human Service Administration. She is the Project Coordinator of the NYC TPSID Consortium and facilitates a number of the Center’s initiatives, including  partnerships coordination and training development.  Mary is committed to individuals with disabilities having opportunities to further their education after high school, self-advocacy, policy, and systems change.

Nicholas Palumbo, MS
585-276-7079
npalumb2@u.rochester.edu

Nicholas Palumbo, MS, is a graduate assistant for the Center on Disability and Education and a PhD student in Human Development at the University of Rochester. He brings experience working as an inclusive special educator with both middle and high school students across content areas. Palumbo earned his MS degree from Syracuse University in Inclusive Special Education. His research interests include: Self-Efficacy, The Social Construction of Dis/ability, Resilience, Adolescent Identity Processes; Students’ Perceptions of Dis/ability; The Influence of Cultural Hegemony on Ethnic Minority Youths; The Impact of Adult Relationships on Adaptive Youth Behaviors; and Outcomes for Ethnic Minority Youth Involved in After School Programming. Nick is devoted to providing students with dis/abilities opportunities to further their education after high school.

Xiaoyu Wan, MS
585-276-7079
xwan3@u.rochester.edu

Xiaoyu Wan, MS, is a graduate assistant for the Center on Disability and Educaton and a PhD student in Teaching and Curriculum Department at the University of Rochester. Xiaoyu has worked as an ESL and Chinese teacher for audiences from K-12 and higher education in China and the United States. She also has extensive practical experience designing online and hybrid courses for ABVI-Goodwill, Strong National Museum of Play, and the Warner School of Education. Through her academic training and field experience, she accumulated solid knowledge related to adolescence development, motivation in human development, learning effectiveness, entrepreneurial skills and design thinking, and she uses them to inform the current project. As a researcher, she is currently involved in projects in examining the effectiveness and conducting interventions in MOOC and hybrid learning environment, exploring Web2.0 pedagogy, and using strategies to improve learners’ engagement and motivation in digital learning space. Xiaoyu is devoted to enhancing equity and accessibility for the high-quality education that serves diverse learner populations.