Tamar Heller, PhD

University of Illinois UCE
Department of Disability and Human Development
Institute on Disability and Human Development (M/C 626)
The University of Illinois at Chicago
1640 West Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL 60608-6904
Phone: 312-413-1647
Email: [email protected]
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Last Updated: February 22, 2018

Tamar Heller

Leadership: UCEDD Director
Project/Program/Clinic Contacts: Developmental Disabilities Family Clinic;
Family Support Research and Training Center;
Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Developmental Disabilities and Health
Discipline(s): Disability Studies
Public Health
AUCD Council Membership: No Council Membership
Research: Families and Disabilities, Adjustment to Life Transitions
Education: Disability and Human Development
Service: Diability Across the Lifespan, International, Aging


B.A.: University of Wisconsin, 1972, in History
M.A.: Roosevelt University, 1974, in Clinical Psychology
Ph.D.: University of Illinois at Chicago, 1981, in Organizational/Developmental Psychology.

Head, Department of Disability and Human Development, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2002 to present. Chair an interdisciplinary department with about 200 staff, including 29 faculty, a masters and a doctorate graduate program, and an annual budget of over 9 million dollars (Acting and Interim Head, 2001-2002).

Associate Head of External Affairs, 2000 to 2001. Associate Head of Academic Affairs/Director of Graduate Studies, 1999-2000. Department of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Director, Institute on Disability and Human Development, Department of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2004-present. Directs the IDHD which is the federally chartered University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities for the State of Illinois. The Institute is authorized under the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act and is part of a network of 67 university-based centers in every state and territory of the United States. The IDHD serves as a bridge between academia and the community.

Professor of Disability and Human Development, Department of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1999 - present. Associate Professor of Human Development, College of Associated Health Professions, 1994-1998. Joint appointments in Community Health Sciences as Associate Professor and in Psychology as Clinical Associate Professor from 1988 to present. Adjunct Assistant Professor, Psychology Department, 1982 to 1987.

Director of Aging Studies Program, Department of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago. Started and direct the Aging Studies Program, which includes the national Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Aging with Developmental Disabilities, and several other projects funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, National Institute on Aging, Administration on Developmental Disabilities, Illinois Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities, and the Illinois Department of Human Services. The Aging Studies Program conducts research and provides training and technical assistance in life-span issues, with a strong emphasis on issues related to long-term disabilities and to family studies. 1993-present.

Coordinator of Family Studies and Services Program. Illinois University Affiliated Program in Developmental Disabilities. Started and directed the Family Studies and Services Program encompassing a comprehensive multi-disciplinary diagnostic clinic, family support services, staff training, technical assistance to policy makers, and research on family support. Developed and directed research and evaluation projects on the effects of public policy on persons with disabilities, their families, and human service employees. 1987-1993.

Research Scientist/ Director of Community Staff Development, Institute for the Study of Developmental Disabilities. Directed training and consultation services to community agencies. Developed and conducted needs assessments, training workshops and program evaluations. Administered research projects on life transitions of persons with disabilities and mental illness. 1982-1987.

National Institute of Mental Health Fellow, University of Illinois at Chicago, Conducted research on group decision-making meetings among adults with disabilities. 1975 to 1975.

Vocational Evaluator, Chicago Association for Retarded Citizens, Developed and conducted job and task analyses vocational and psychological assessments, work samples, and interviews. 1974.

Intern School Psychologist, Chicago Association for Retarded Citizens. Conducted psychological testing and staff consultations in schools, vocational centers and residential facilities. 1973.

Coordinator of Client Services/Psychologist, Chicago Association for Retarded Citizens. Administered the vocational evaluation unit and the staff in-service program. Conducted intake interviews and psychological assessments of children and adults with disabilities. 1974-1975.

Registered Psychologist
State of Illinois, Department of Registration and Education, Permit Number 072-02912

School Psychologist
State of Illinois School Services Personnel, Type 73, Permit Number 105437

Family Therapist
Completed introductory externship in family therapy at University of Illinois Department of Psychiatry's Institute for Juvenile Research

Guest Editor
Journal of Technology and Disability
Family Relations

Editorial Board Member
Journal of Disability Policy Studies, Mental Handicap Research

Consulting Editor
American Journal on Mental Retardation, Mental Retardation

Advisory Board Officer
National Case Management Foundation

Journal Reviewer
Social Psychology Quarterly; Applied Research in Mental Retardation; American Journal of Community Psychology; Journal of Applied Gerontology; Research in Developmental Disabilities, Family Relations

Executive Council International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities, 2006-present.

Delegate, White House Conference on Aging. Appointed to serve as Senator Barack Obama's delegate to The White House Conference on Aging. The WHCoA provided an opportunity for delegates to present recommendations for action to the President and Congress. December, 2005.

Fellow, Academic Leadership Program, Committee on Institutional Cooperation, 2003 - 2004.

Fellow, International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability, 2000 - present.
President, Gerontology Division, American Association on Mental Retardation. 1998 - 2000.

Board Member, American Association on Mental Retardation, 1993-95.

Fellow of Institute, Institute for Counseling and Personal Development, Belfast, Northern Ireland

DuPont Pharma Geriatric Education Centers Award, Ninth Workshop for Geriatric Education Centers, Washington, D.C., 1994.

Midwest Regional Coordinator, Community Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association.

Service Award, Community Support Services, Brookfield, Illinois, 1991.

National Institute of Mental Health Fellow, 1975.


Articles Published/In Press 74
Books 2
Chapters 22
Monographs & Technical Reports 42
Total: 140