Donna Gilles, EdD

Partnership for People with Disabilities
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia University Center for Excellence
PO Box 843020
700 E. Franklin Street, Suite 140
Richmond, VA 23284-3020
Phone: 804-828-8244
Email: [email protected]
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Last Updated: November 04, 2021


Leadership: UCEDD Director
Principal Investigator
Discipline(s): Education/Special Education
AUCD Council Membership: National Training Directors' Council
Research: Maltreatment of people with disabilities; linking training and technical assistance to outcomes; effective instructional practices
Education: 1986 Ed.D. Special Education: Severe Disabilities, Johns Hopkins University
1980 M.S. Special Education: Severe Disabilities, Johns Hopkins University
1975 B.S. Elementary and Special Education, K-12, Unviersity of Maryland
Service: Chair, AUCD SIG Abuse/Neglect
Member, AUCD Legislative Affairs Committee
assisting AUCD on APRAIS (Alliance to Prevent Restraint, Aversive Interventions, and Seclusion)



NAME:  Gilles, Donna L.



Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD



University of Maryland, College Park, MD









Education, Severe Disabilities

Education, Severe Disabilities


Special Education/

Elementary Education



2011-   Executive Director, Partnership for People with Disabilities, UCEDD (Acting 07/01/11-02/10/12)

2007-2011              Associate Director of Operations, Partnership for People with Disabilities, UCEDD; Training Director, Va-LEND;Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

1995-2007                   Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Florida: Associate Director, UF-Gainesville Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. Director and Co-PI, FL Outreach Project for Children and Young Adults who are Deaf-Blind.

1991-1995                   Faculty: Assistant Scholar, Department of Special Education, College of Education, University of Florida:  Director, Project CITES: Comprehensive Inservice Training in Exemplary Strategies. Director, Volusia County/University of Florida Collaborative Training Project. Coordinator, Project SUPPORT


TASH (f/n/a The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps) (1978 - lifetime): President (2000-2003), other offices; Council for Exceptional Children (1975 - ), Developmental Disabilities Division; American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (1981 - ), Education Division.


Maltreatment of people with disabilities

Innovative practices for people with complex support needs including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, sensory losses with additional disabilities including deaf-blindness, and multiple disabilities.

Linking technical assistance provision to outcomes

Health Promotion for individuals with developmental disabilities.

RESEARCH OR TRAINING SUPPORT: Co-PI and Training Director, Virginia LEND;

Principal Investigator, Virginia Health Promotion for People with Disabilities Project;

Principal Investigator, Virginia Project for Children and Young Adults with Deaf-Blindness


Oswald, D.P., Bodurtha, J.N., Willis, J.H., Gilles, D.L., Christon, L.M., Ogston, P.L., Tlusty, S.M. (2011).  Disparities in the clinical encounter: Virginia’s African American children with special health care needs. ISRN Pediatrics, vol. 2011, Article ID 273938, 8 pages, 2011. doi:10.5402/2011/273938.

Smith, S.W., & Gilles, D.L. (2003).  Using key instructional elements for systematically promoting social skill generalization for students with challenging behavior. Intervention in School and Clinic, 39(1), 30-37. 

Gilles, D.L., & Clark, D. (2001).  Collaborative teaming in the assessment process.  In S. Alper, D. Ryndak & C.N. Schloss, Alternate assessment of students with disabilities in inclusive settings (pp. 75-87).  Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Fox, L., & Williams (Gilles), D. (1992).  Preparing teachers of students with severe disabilities.  Teacher Education and Special Education, 15(2), 97-107.

Oswald, D.P., Gilles, D.L., Cannady, M. Wenzel, D., Willis, J.H., Bodurtha, J.N.  Youth with special health care needs: Transition to adult health care services. In Final Preparation for submissionl.

Gilles, D.L., & Valcante, G. (to be revised and resubmitted to alternate journal).The effects of visual prompting on skill acquisition by individuals with severe disabilities: A modified shaping approach.

Oliva, C., Brown, F., & Gilles, D. (to be revised and resubmitted to alternate journal). Contingent electric shock for challenging behavior: Searching for an evidence-base.