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Richard M. Gargiulo University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA

I have always desired to be an educator. I guess I am a rarity in that I never changed my undergraduate major or left the field of education. My undergraduate education began at Hiram Scott College in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Three years later, I was teaching fourth graders in the Milwaukee public schools while working toward my master’s degree in intellectual disability at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. At the conclusion of my first year of teaching, I was asked to teach a class of young children with intellectual disability. I jumped at the opportunity and for the next three years essentially became an early childhood special educator. It was at this point in my career that I decided to earn my doctorate. I resigned my teaching position and moved to Madison, where I pursued a PhD in the areas of human learning, child development, and behavioral disabilities. Upon receiving my degree, I accepted a faculty position in the Department of Special Education at Bowling Green State University (Ohio), where for the next eight years I was a teacher educator. In 1982, I moved to Birmingham, Alabama, and joined the faculty of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), where, until my retirement, I served as a professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. In November 2014, I was awarded professor emeritus status by the board of trustees of the University of Alabama system.

I have enjoyed a rich and rewarding professional career spanning more than four decades. During the course of this journey, I have had the privilege of twice serving as president of the Alabama Federation, Council for Exceptional Children (CEC); serving as president of the Division of International Special Education and Services (DISES), CEC; and serving as president of the Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities (DADD), CEC. I mostly served as the Southeast representative to the board of directors of DADD. I have lectured abroad extensively and was a Fulbright Scholar to the Czech Republic in 1991. In 2007, I was invited to serve as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic.

Teaching has always been my passion. In 1999, I was fortunate to receive UAB’s President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 2007, I received the Jasper Harvey Award from the Alabama Federation of CEC in recognition of being named the outstanding special education teacher educator in the state.

With a background in both educational psychology and special education, my research has appeared in a wide variety of professional journals including Child Development, Journal of Educational Research, Journal of Learning Disabilities, American Journal of Mental Deficiency, Childhood Education, Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, British Journal of Developmental Psychology, Journal of Special Education, Early Childhood Education Journal, International Journal of Clinical Neuropsychology, and International Journal of Special Education, among a host of others.

In addition to the present text, I have authored or coauthored more than ten books, several enjoying multiple editions, ranging in topics from counseling parents of children with disabilities to child abuse, early childhood education, teaching in inclusive classrooms, and, most recently, instructional strategies for students with intellectual disability.