Wendy Parent-Johnson, Ph.D., CRC, CESP

Center for Disabilities
Sanford School of Medicine
University of South Dakota
1400 West 22nd Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57105-1570
Phone: 605-357-1468
Secondary Phone: 785-764-2472
Email: [email protected]
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Last Updated: May 31, 2018

Wendy Parent-Johnson

Leadership: UCEDD Director
Discipline(s): Education: General
Education/Special Education
Rehabilitation Counseling
AUCD Council Membership: No Council Membership
Research: transition, employment, health care transition, health disparities, severe disability, secondary & postsecondary education, job coach certification, Employment First
Education: special education, 18 to 21 programs, severe disability
Service: education, adult service providers, vocational rehabilitation, case managers, family members, and individuals with disabilities - training, technical assistance, advocacy, and policy


Dr. Wendy Parent-Johnson is Professor, Department of Pediatrics, and Executive Director of the Center for Disabilities, a Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, and Lend Director (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and other Disabilities), at the Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota. In these positions, she is responsible for administration and oversight of multiple grants, research, teaching, and supervision of more than 45 staff and contract employees. Her educational background includes a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and a Doctorate Degree in Education with an emphasis on Transition for Individuals with Severe Disabilities, both from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has thirty six years experience in the areas of supported and customized employment, transition from school to work, and Employment First policy and practice. Dr. Parent-Johnson has conducted presentations; produced journal, book, and other written products; and developed practical tools related to transition and employment. More recently, her research, teaching, and grant development has focused on health care transition, health disparities, interdisciplinary health science education, and the integration of health and employment.  Dr. Parent-Johnson is Editor of the Journal of Rehabilitation.