Bonnie L. Utley entered the field of special education in 1971 in the State of Illinois in the area of adult services with individuals who were identified as having both mental illness and mental retardation. She moved to Kansas and began working in the University Affiliated Program in both Parsons, Kansas and Kansas City, Kansas. Her early responsibilities included doing research in the area of systematic instructional strategies and model demonstration programs for young children with multiple disabilities. Bonnie finished her masters degree in special education at the University of Kansas in 1977. She served as a teacher in a model classroom program at Kansas Neurological Institute under the direction of Wayne Sailor and Doug Guess. She re-located to San Francisco to continue her collaboration with Dr. Sailor on a model demonstration project for children who are deaf-blind.
Bonnie moved to the University of Pittsburgh in 1980 to begin her doctoral work which was completed in 1982. She served on the faculty of the University of Kansas before returning to Pittsburgh in 1984. Since that time, Bonnie has fulfilled a number of responsibilities including model demonstration projects for young children with severe emotional disturbance and those with multiple disabilities; research on the integration of related services into instruction, systems change in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and personnel preparation. She is currently affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Instruction and Learning.
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