Department of Exceptional Education
Laura Owens teaches courses to middle and high school educators in curricular accommodations, career and transition from school to adult life. She also serves as an advisor in the master's focus on transition. In 1991, Owens founded Creative Employment Opportunities, an employment agency for individuals with disabilities in Milwaukee, after seeing students graduate into a world of limited or non-existent employment opportunities. She also founded ArtWorks for Milwaukee, a non-profit jobs-training program in the arts in 2001. In 2009 she was appointed to serve as the President of Association for Persons in Supported Employment (APSE), a national association focusing on expanding integrated employment.
Owens' research interests include transition from school to adult life, supported employment, high school integration, self-determination, and disability issues in the criminal justice system. She is an international speaker having presented to business organizations and schools in Iceland, Croatia, the Czech Republic and other countries. Owens earned her M.S. in special education from UWM and her Ph.D. in special education from UW-Madison.