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Victoria Knight

Assistant Professor, Department of Special Education

Victoria Knight, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education at Vanderbilt University and a member of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. She brings more than 15 years of experience working with students who have significant disabilities. Before receiving her doctorate in special education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, she worked as an inclusion facilitator, special education teacher, and autism behavior specialist. Her research interests include: (a) examining the use of systematic instructional practices to promote learning of core content, especially in the areas of science and math, and with students diagnosed with ASD, and (b) evaluation, dissemination, and needs related to evidence-based practices. She has published, presented, and trained special education teachers and others in these areas. Dr. Knight has developed curriculum for teachers of students with severe disabilities in science. She serves on the editorial boards of three journals, including Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities and Focus on Autism and Developmental Disabilities

She works closely with undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students across several research projects. Recent work has addressed:

  • Teaching STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) content and skills to students with low incidence disabilities and their peers in inclusive general education classes
  • Evaluating the use of guided inquiry-based and project-based learning in K-12 special education
  • Comprehension of core content by students with ASD and other low incidence disabilities
  • Use of video modeling and visual activity schedules to promote learning and independence of students with severe disabilities (intellectual disabilities, ASD)
  • Evaluation, dissemination, and determination of training needs related to evidence-based practices in the field


The Severe Disabilities program has full funding available for students interested in pursuing a master's degree in severe disabilities or a doctoral degree in severe disabilities. To learn more about these funding opportunities, click here: