To address the needs of our diverse community, the Texas Center for Disability Studies conducts research on a variety of topics, including education and early intervention, mental health, and transition to adulthood.


The ASPEN Program is a parent-mediated intervention that is designed to provide information and empower parents of young children with developmental delays.

Autism Consortium of Texas

The purpose of the autism consortium is to network and foster autism-related research and program collaborations at the University of Texas at Austin and in the Central Texas area. 

Experiences of Texans with Disabilities with COVID-19 Vaccines

The purpose of the study is to learn about the perceptions and experiences of Texans with disabilities related to COVID-19 vaccination, through collaboration with our state-wide partners and community stakeholders. 

  • Latest Research:
    • The perceptions and experiences of people with disabilities with the COVID-19 vaccines: Evidence from a Texas statewide survey
      • Authors: Weiwen Zeng, Sandy Magaña, Nazanin Heydarian, & Kate Thompson
    • Texas response to health equity: Texas partners for inclusive access (TPIA)
      • Authors: Sandy Magaña (TCDS), Vanessa Richards (CDD), Sean Jackson (DRTx), Weiwen Zeng (TCDS), Beth Stalvey (TCDD), & Anita Swanson (TTAP)


The Parents and Children Setting Goals Together (PACT) provided training to parents/caregivers of children with autism, ages 3-22, on Applied Behavior Analysis and Transition to Adulthood.

  • Latest Research:
    • Descriptive and functional characteristics of children with ASD in Texas: Data to equitably guide service needs in Texas
      • Authors: Dr. Nina Zuna(Associate Director), Yehyang Lee (Trainee/Doctoral student) at Texas Center for Disability Studies, The University of Texas at Austin


PODER plans to conduct three studies that examine health and obesity among Latino children and adolescents with IDD, and develop and test an intervention for Latino children and adolescents with IDD and their families to promote healthy lifestyles.

  • Latest Research:
    • Examining Overweight and Obesity Among Latino Children with and Without Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in a National Sample
    • Towards health equity for Latinx families of children with IDD: A study examining determinants of health and health behaviors
      • Authors: Weiwen Zeng, Sandy Magaña, Nazanin Heydarian, & Vanessa Errisuriz