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Deborah Hatton

Associate Professor, Department of Special Education

Deborah D. Hatton, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Special Education and Director of the Program in Visual Disabilities, Vanderbilt University, Peabody College. Her research interests include intervention research in visual impairment and behavioral phenotype research with students with fragile X syndrome.

She received her bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Auburn University, her master’s degree in visual disabilities from Florida State University, and her Ph.D. in special education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to arriving at Vanderbilt’s Program in Visual Disabilities in August 2009, Hatton was a senior scientist at the FPG Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she spent 15 years directing research and outreach projects funded by the U. S. Department of Education and the National Institutes of Health. Projects included The Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers with Visual Impairments, Project Emerge: Understanding Early Literacy in Young Children with Visual Impairments, and The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders.

She has been a general education teacher, an itinerant teacher of students with visual impairments, and an administrator of programs for typically developing students, as well as those with visual impairments. She helped establish the statewide early intervention program for young children with visual impairments, ages birth to five, at the Governor Morehead School (GMS) for the Blind in Raleigh, NC and served on the board of directors at GMS for 12 years.

Courses Taught

  • SPED V 7510/3305: Medical and Educational Implications of Visual Impairments
  • SPED V 7530/3335: Braille Reading and Writing
  • SPED V 7540/3345: Communication and Literacy Skills for Students with Visual Impairments