Focus and Scope

Physical Disabilities: Education and Related Services (PDERS) is the official journal of the Divison for Physical, Health and Multiple Disabilities (DPHMD) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). This peer-reviewed journal is published two times per year. PDERS is a multidisciplinary journal that focuses on research, issues, and program innovations that relate to educational and related services needs of individuals with physical, health, and/or multiple disabilities. Articles cover a wide range of topics, including: assessment, educational programming, access to the general curriculum, characteristics, training of instructional personnel, rehabilitation, prevention, community understanding and provisions, and legislation. The following are considered for publication: empirical research, theoretical perspectives, case studies that address promising practices, innovative instructional practices, and reviews of books, materials, media, and software.

All research articles in this journal have undergone rigorous peer review, based on initial editor screening and anonymous refereeing by three reviewers.

All published articles are the personal expression of the author(s) and do not necessarily carry the endorsement of DPHMD. DPHMD is the official division of the Council for Expectional Children that advocates for quality education for all individuals with physical disabilities, multiple disabilities, and special health care needs served in schools, hospitals, or home settings. The goals of DPHMD include:

  • Promoting the continued development of adequate resources and programs that address the many areas of need associated with serving children and adults with physical and/or multiple disabilities, and special health care needs.
  • Disseminating relevant and timely information on current issues, instructional strategies, adaptations, and research through the annual CEC convention, professional meetings, training programs and publications.
  • Providing technical assistance and preservice and inservice education.
  • Advocating for funds and policies that promote supportive legislation and funding for persons with physical disabilities, multiple disabilities and special health care needs.
  • Supporting the activities, policies, and procedures of the CEC and the other CEC divisions.

Peer Review Process

PDERS accepts submissions from anyone interested in the education and welfare of individuals with physical, health, and/or multiple disabilities. The review of these submissions follows a blind process where the authors do not know the identity of the reviewers, nor do the reviewers know the identity of the authors.

Authors are encouraged to submit work in one of the following categories:

  • Original research: includes experimental (group and single-subject methodologies), quasi-experimental, survey, and qualitative designs
  • Reviews of current themes in PDERS research including meta-analysis
  • Case studies illustrating effective intervention procedures
  • Reviews of current books and other publications of interest (published in the previous two years)
  • Position papers that reflect diverse philosophical and theoretical positions
  • Promising practice, which are descriptions of successful programs that provide meaningful advancements in the process of educating/rehabilitating individuals with physical, health, and/or multiple disabilities. These brief articles must go beyond simply describing a practice in which the authors have engaged. They must have a theoretical basis and provide empirical support that the practice is connected to desired outcomes.

Articles published in PDERS cover topics throughout the lifespan in home, school, hospital, rehabilitation, work, and community settings.

Articles submitted to PDERS are subject to blind review by at least two and usually three anonymous reviewers selected by the Editor. Criteria for acceptance focus on relevance, potential reader interest, quality, applicability, contribution to the field, and economy and smoothness of expression. Research articles are reviewed based on standards appropriate to the methodology used in the study. The review process is usually completed within 3 months of receipt of the manuscript. PDERS is focused on fairness and courtesy in the review process.

Viewpoints expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily conform to positions of the Editor or DPHMD.

Publication Frequency

PDERS publishes two issues per year, one in the fall and one in the spring. Articles will be published collectively, as part of their assigned issue. Members of DPHMD will be notified via email once a completed issue has become available.

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

Editorial Review Board


Dusty Columbia Embury, Eastern Kentucky University


Meghan Burke, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tina Hudson, East Tennessee State University

Janet Josephson, Millersville University of Pennsylvania

Kenneth Robey, Matheny Medical and Educational Center