SIM History

Don Deshler

"I remember Gordon Alley, Gary Clark and I were presenting, at the CEC convention in Chicago in 1976. We were doing a presentation on secondary LD. The morning before we were scheduled to present, we were sitting in our hotel room literally creating overheads on the spot. We anticipated maybe 30 people might be at this presentation. There were 300, which indicated how desperate people were to get answers for this huge need. The impression that is still in my mind today, very visibly, is teachers frantically taking notes on anything we said. We left the presentation, were standing at the elevator, and teachers were still asking us questions. When we got in the elevator, Gordon turned to me and said, 'That's the last time I'm selling swamp water.' We recognized that we had the formulation of some ideas in our minds, but we had no data behind it. So we resolved that we had to capture funding to do research to go along with the teacher preparation we were doing. That gave birth to the Center."

Don Deshler 1980s

Key Dates in SIM History

  • 1978: Edward Meyen and Richard Schiefelbusch organized the Institute for Research in Learning Disabilities, one of five organizations to win a five-year, $2-million grant to study learning disabilities. Don Deshler served as research coordinator and Jean Schumaker as associate coordinator

    The question that started it all: What are the characteristics of adolescents with learning disabilities?
  • 1983: The International Training Network was founded
  • 1986: The first International Training Network conference was held
  • 1989:Strategram began publication
  • 1992:Stratenotes began publication
  • 1996: The Strategies Intervention Model became the Strategic Instruction Model.

    "Strategic" is broader than strategies, and "intervention" has medical connotations and is more one-way than the interactivity of "instruction"
  • 1997: Dr. Gordon Alley, who helped establish the Center and contributed to the foundation of SIM, passed away
  • 2002: The term "professional developer" (PDer) replaced "trainer"
  • 2006: Jan Roth, SIM Professional Development Director, retired
  • 2006: Patty Graner named new SIM PD Director
  • 2007: Associate Director and Co-Founder, Jean Schumaker retired from CRL
  • 2014: Don Deshler, KU CRL Director and Co-Founder, retired
  • 2015: Mike Hock named CRL Director
  • 2019: Patty Graner, SIM PD Director, retired
  • 2019: Jocelyn Washburn named new SIM PD Director