website statistics

Skip to main content
Switch to text-only version
Get accessibility information and assistance

Teaching Research Institute

Teaching Research Institute News and Events - 2014

News from 2013 | News from 2012 | News from 2011

red line

TRI and Partners Awarded $500,000 Grant

Updated April 14, 2014

Western Oregon University, Central School District, Dallas School District, Falls City School District, and Perrydale School District, as part of the Mid-Willamette Valley Promise Consortium, Awarded $500,000 Grant

A consortium consisting of the Teaching Research Institute along with Central School District, Dallas School District, Falls City School District, and Perrydale School District was awarded a $500,000 grant by the Oregon Department of Education. The consortium, Mid-Willamette Valley Promise, will collaborate to expand the ways that high school students in Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties can participate in college-level classes, as well as earning college credits or certificates while attending high school. More information.

Oregon Deaf-blind Project Helps Families

Updated March 28, 2014

Preschool children eating together

Learning that your child has a disability can be a challenging experience for many families. The Oregon Deafblind Project's Family Guide assists families by offering hope, helping to understand the needs of a child who is deaf-blind, assisting with next steps and offering resources along the way. The website was developed by the family of a child who is deafblind and have offered to share their knowledge and experience.

"Deafblind" is a difficult term to come to grips with. Very few children are totally deaf and totally blind and a large majority have additional challenges. So for many, it means a child who has combined vision and hearing impairments. In order to qualify as deafblind, those combined losses have to be significant enough to require adaptations or supports - things that children without these losses may not need to be successful. Like most disabilities, deafblindness varies from individual to individual. No matter what degree of the deafblindness, our kids require a unique approach to learning that involves different ways of accessing information.

The Family Guide offers resources and information about getting support, teaching and communicating with a child who is deafblind, working with professionals in the field of deafblindness and much more.

QRIS Statewide Rollout

Updated Feb 24, 2014

Conference participants

February 18th-20th Over 70 participants from Child Care Resource and Referral agencies and other partners from across the state attended the QRIS statewide rollout training at Western Oregon University. Participants left with the necessary tools to recruit, train and support Early Learning and Development Programs across the state and ensure Oregon's QRIS future success!

Learn more at the QRIS website.

red line Homepage for Open Hands Open Access modules

New Open Hands, Open Access Deaf-Blind Intervener Modules

For some, winter is a time when construction slows down. Despite the winter chill, there are 7 teams, comprised of State Deaf-Blind Project staff, family members, orientation and modility professionals, teachers, and interveners, that are hard at work building the next set of Open Hands, Open Access Deaf-Blind Intervener Learning Modules. Guided by the counsel of a diverse national advisory committee, and using data gleaned from field tests, National Center for Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) is thrilled to be supporting these teams to create a resource that supports the intervener practice nationally.

  • Orientation and Mobility
  • Concept Development and Active Learning
  • Deaf-Blind Intervention Strategies
  • Maximizing Vision and Hearing
  • Collaboration and Family Partnership
  • Social Skills and Peer Relationships
  • Self-Determination

In early March, the module creators will gather in Phoenix, AZ for an intensive writing and filming session to supplement the work that is occurring across the distance. Perhaps what is most exciting about this cycle of creation is that many of the family members and project staff who are involved in developing the new content, have been able to "take" and offer feedback on the modules that have been constructed by the original creation teams. Additionally, a few of the OHOA Module Team Leaders have been using the preliminary modules with groups of learners in their states to increase broad based knowledge and awareness of the role of the intervener.

This direct experience in using the modules as participants, reviewers, or as hosts is creating richer insight into how to design and align the new content with what has already been developed. We look forward to sharing updates about opportunities for more field testing, revision and use by state systems for professional development or in being incorporated into comprehensive intervener training programs.


TRI Awarded Grant to Close Opportunity Gaps for Students who are Culturally and/or Linguistically Diverse

Updated April 14, 2014

The Oregon Department of Education recently awarded $200,000 to WOU's Teaching Research Institute and College of Education to support Project High Five - Culture, Collaboration, Commitment, Communication and Community. See Press Release for details.

Project SITE: Focus on Climate Change

April 14, 2014

nature scene showing lake

Students Involved with Their Environment (Project SITE) assists middle and high school students to engage in projects focusing on climate change or protecting our waters. As a recipient of a SITE grant, Mary Beth Tilson, a biology teacher from Delta High School in Richmond Washington, was selected to present at the Sustaining the Blue Planet Global Water Education Conference this June. Her sophomore students met with local biologists, cleaned a local creek, collected water quality data, and analyzed how individuals and businesses can affect the quality of nearby water. The SITE project is run by the Center on Educator Preparation and Effectiveness (CEPE) at TRI through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

TRI Child Development Center Helping to End Hunger

Updated March 20, 2014

Preschool children donating food

During the month of February the children at the TRI Child Development Center and their families participated in the Governor's 2014 Food Drive. All through the month, the classrooms focused on topics to give the children an understanding of the effects of hunger. The children helped to create the food donation boxes that were placed in each classroom. Then throughout the month the children and families brought in food to donate to the local food bank. This year they collected over 200 pounds of food to go to needy families.

On March 3rd, each classroom was able to personally deliver the food they had collected to the local food bank truck.

NCDB Featured on OPB

Lyn Ayer, Director of the Oregon Deafblind Project

Lyn Ayer, Director of the Oregon Deafblind Project answers questions about the services and support provided by her project and by the National Center on Deaf-Blindness during an interview with OPB. Listen to the interview.

Project PEPI - Improving Early Education for All Children

Updated March 13, 2014

Preschool children eating lunch together

Early childhood educators play a huge role in a child's development and education. Learning how to meet the needs of all children regardless of their ability levels can be a challenging prospect. To this end, Preparing Early Childhood Professionals for Inclusion (PEPI) along with four Oregon community colleges is working to provide prospective early childhood teachers with the support and knowledge to meet the needs of young children with disabilities in inclusive settings. This collaborative effort supports community colleges which offer associate degrees in Early Childhood Education. The project provides support and technical assistance to faculty to enhance their existing coursework to include the knowledge and skills needed for working with children with disabilities and to infuse inclusion competencies into their existing program standards.

New ERGO publication

Jan. 20, 2014

The Evaluation Research Group recently published on the treatment of sensory abnormalities in young children with Autism. The article, found in the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, describes the effects of parent delivered Qigong massage treatment for tactile abnormalities in young children with autism.

Sensory abnormalities have recently been included in the diagnostic criteria for autism. Evidence is emerging (Silva & Schalock 2013) showing that tactile abnormalities in young children with autism are severe, universally present, and directly related to delay of early self-regulation milestones required for social development. This suggests that tactile abnormalities pose a barrier to parent touch in autism, and that treatment of tactile abnormalities may improve developmental outcomes.

Parent touch is the most effective means of stimulating early self-regulation, yet parents of children with autism avoid touch because their children respond abnormally to it. The authors have developed and evaluated a parent delivered qigong massage treatment for tactile abnormalities in young children with autism. Results from this previously published research have been re-evaluated and found to demonstrate that tactile abnormalities decrease following treatment, and treatment results in improved self-regulatory outcomes.

Full Citation

Silva, L.M.T. and Schalock, M.D. (2013). Treatment of tactile impairment in young children with autism: Results with GiGong massage. International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, 6(4),pp. 12-20. red line Governor Kitzhaber congratulating a QRIS designee

First QRIS Designations Awarded

Oregon's Quality Rating and Improvement System's first batch of early childhood programs to receive their star rating were honored by the Early Learning Council during their November meeting. Council Chair, Pam Curtis read a letter from Governor Kitzhaber during the recognition that thanked and congratulated these first quality rated programs. Programs in attendance posed for pictures as they received their designation materials from Pam Curtis and Jada Rupley, Oregon's Early Learning Systems Director.


TRI-CDC Children Visit the OHSU School of Nursing

April 4, 2014

Young girl and student nurse

Children from the TRI Child Development Center were invited to join OHSU School of Nursing first year students who were practicing their pediatric assessment skills. The nursing students listened to the children's hearts and then gave each child the opportunity to listen to their own heart beat.

This was a wonderful opportunity for the children to increase their comfort with those who work in the medical field and expand their knowledge of their bodies.

Summer Institute flyer

March 28, 2014

The College of Education and the Teaching Research Institute at Western Oregon University (WOU) are proud to announce the 1st Annual Early Childhood Inclusion Summer Institute to be held on the campus of WOU August 12-15, 2014. This year's keynote speaker will be Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak, an author, teacher, and advocate for all of our young children. The Early Childhood Inclusion Summer Institute brings together early childhood and early intervention/early childhood special education pre-service and practicing teachers, families of young children, K-4 teachers, as well as administrators for quality professional development, collaboration, and celebration around inclusion in early childhood.

Free Support for Children with Autism

March 4, 2014

The Teaching Research Institute at Western Oregon University (WOU) and Louisa Silva, M.D., M.P.H. are announcing the final opportunity for parents who have children under the age of six with autism to enroll in a research study to receive free training and treatment. Enrollment is open now through March 16 for residents of Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Yamhill, Polk, Marion, Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties.

Dr. Silva and her team of trained therapists teach parents of children with autism a daily massage program that has been shown in research studies to be effective in reversing sensory difficulties and with improving behavior. As children become more comfortable with touch, they become calmer, are better able to focus and learn, and exhibit better behavior overall.

Dr. Silva reports, "Often children with autism have abnormal responses to touch such that they avoid touch on many areas of the body. Although parental touch is the most effective way to calm children, often parents with children with autism will avoid using touch as a parenting tool because their child doesn't respond normally to it. This massage program has been shown in early studies to be effective in reversing difficulties with touch."

Families enrolled in the study receive all services for free, including training, treatment and assessments. WOU's Teaching Research Institute is conducting the research on this intervention with a three-year grant from the U.S. Health and Human Services' Maternal and Child Health Bureau. One mom with a four-year-old son with autism in the study shared the following after the first five months of treatment, "My son has made huge leaps and bounds in his social interaction with the world since starting the massage. He is beginning to notice other people and appropriately interact with them and reciprocate language. His ability to communicate his own needs has also increased an amazing amount. He is now requesting items in full sentences the majority of the time as opposed to one or two word requests 60% of the time."

Enrollment is limited; residents outside of the above-mentioned counties can enroll in the study, but they may need to travel to one of the above counties for services. To learn more about the study or to enroll, visit, check out the QSTI Autism Treatment for Children Facebook page; or contact Kris Gabrielsen at 503.474.0218 or

ReadOregon - A Decade of Serving Oregon Teachers

Feb. 14, 2014

group of children lying on the floor and reading books

2013 marked a full decade of the ReadOregon Collaborative for the Improvement of Literacy. This bold experiment in cross-university collaboration to address the literacy education needs of teachers throughout Oregon is both unusual and innovative in the level of cooperation and agreement achieved among five public universities.

"I have developed a strong understanding of how to foster and motivate students to read and write." - ReadOregon student, 2008

The ReadOregon collaborative has experienced steady growth in the past decade. During 2013, 66 courses were offered in the ReadOregon curriculum benefiting 283 teachers. Download project update

TRI Welcomes New Employees

Andrea Doyle Hugmeyer

Jan. 2, 2014

Andrea Doyle Hugmeyer

Andrea is the new Abby's House Program Coordinator (a part of TRI's WOU CASA project). She has an MA and a BS from Oregon State University with a concentration in Sociology and Women's Studies. Andrea has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses at OSU and has served as a Research Project Assistant at Northwest Professional Consortium Research. Andrea has strong skills in data collection, participant interviews, data entry, small scale data cleaning and maintenance, report formatting, survey instrument design and statistical analysis. In addition to serving as Program Coordinator for Abby's House, Andrea will be working with the ODE Mentoring Evaluation project.

QRIS Highlighted at OregonAEYC Conference

Nov. 4, 2013

Jada Rupley at presentation

Jada Rupley, Oregon's Early Learning Systems director, announced the names of the first 13 programs receiving star ratings for the Oregon Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) at the OregonAEYC Fall Conference in Portland on Oct. 11. The QRIS, which is a part of the Early Learning Challenge - Race to the Top grant is a means of assessing, improving, and communicating the level of quality of early childhood care and education providers in Oregon.

The QRIS staff from the TRI Center on Inclusion was recognized for their work in developing and field testing the process by Dawn Woods, a Quality Improvement manager at the Office of Child Care at the Oregon Department of Education.

News from 2013 | News from 2012 | News from 2011



Teaching Research Institute (503)838-8391 | or e-mail:

Follow us:       

MissionWestern Oregon University | 345 N. Monmouth Ave. | Monmouth OR 97361 | 503-838-8000(V/TTY) | Admissions 1-877-877-1593 | Text only
sandman-127 Remote IP: ((none!))