Thomas Boehm

Menu
Ann Haskins Assistant Professor of Special Education
On Faculty since 2015

Email:

Education

Ph.D., Special Education, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, 2017

Long-Term Trainee, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, UCEDD, 2011–2015

M.Div., Trinity International University, Deerfield, IL, 2000

M.A., Counseling Psychology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, 1993

B.A., Pre-Med and Psychology (Honors), Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, 1990

About Thomas Boehm

Thomas brings over two decades of professional and personal experiences at the intersection of disability and faith to the Wheaton community. As the Ann Haskins Assistant Professor of Special Education, Thomas oversees the new special education endorsement program to equip a new generation of teachers prepared to serve the roughly 6 million students in the U.S., and countless more around the globe, who receive special education supports and services.

Thomas' interest in disability began as an early career professional working in the social services sector but was catapulted in new directions when he became the parent of a child with a disability. Thomas went on to teach special education for students with significant support needs and in 2009 founded Faith for All, a non-profit dedicated to promoting and supporting inclusive faith communities. He was then invited to come to Vanderbilt University to help develop a line of research at the intersection of disability and faith where he is completing a doctorate in special education. His dissertation research involves gathering perspectives from over 1,000 families with a son or daughter with intellectual disability across Illinois and Tennessee in order to understand and improve family quality of life.

Thomas enjoys cultivating what he calls, "Relational depth for Kingdom breadth," which involves pressing in to deeper relationships of transparency and authenticity to love God and others well for the sake of spreading the Kingdom of God here on Earth. He does this first and foremost with his wife and five children and together they are committed to building inclusive community whereby people at the margins of society are embraced with God's extravagant and compelling love.

Courses Taught

  • Learning Differences (Introduction to Special Education)
  • Learning Differences Practicum
  • Characteristics of Cross-Categorical Special Education
  • Characteristics of Cross-Categorical Special Education Practicum

Research

  • The multiple intersections of disability, family, and faith.
  • Family quality of life; intellectual and developmental disability; family studies; social relationships; and faith/religion/spirituality & disability.
  • Current project: Family Views on Quality of Life and Intellectual Disability

Membership in Professional Societies

  • American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), Religion and Spirituality Division; Early Career Professional SIG
  • TASH (formerly The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps)

Publications

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Boehm, T. L., & Carter, E. W. (in press). Systematic review of informal relationships among parents of individuals with intellectual disability or autism. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities.

Carter, E. W., Biggs, E. E., & Boehm, T. L. (2016). Being present versus having a presence: Dimensions of belonging for young people with disabilities and their families. Christian Education Journal, 13, 127-146.

Carter, E. W., Boehm, T. L., Annandale, N. H., & Taylor, C. (2016). Supporting congregational inclusion for children and youth with disabilities and their families. Exceptional Children, 83(3), 372-389. doi:10.1177/0014402915598773

Reynolds, M. C., Gotto, G. S., Arnold, C., Boehm, T. L., Magana, S., Dinora, P., …Lakin, C. (2015). Goals for supporting families across the life course. Inclusion, 3, 260-266. doi:10.1352/2326-6988-3.4.260

Boehm, T. L., Carter, E.C., & Taylor, J. L. (2015) Family quality of life during the transition to adulthood for individuals with intellectual disability and/or autism spectrum disorders. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 120, 395-411. doi:10.1352/1944-7558-120.5.395

Carter, E. W., Boehm, T. L., Biggs, E. E., Annandale, N. H., Taylor, C., Logeman, A. K., & Liu, R. Y. (2015). Known for my strengths: Positive traits of transition-age youth with intellectual disability or autism. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 40, 101-119. doi:10.1177/1540796915592158

Liu, E. X., Carter, E. W., Boehm, T. L., Annandale, N. H., & Taylor, C. E. (2014) In their own words: The place of faith in the lives of young people with autism and intellectual disability. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 52(5), 388-404. doi:10.1352 /1934-9556-52.5.388

Carter, E. W., Brock, M. E., Bottema-Buetel, K., Bartholomew, A., Boehm, T., & Cook, J. (2013). Methodological trends in secondary education and transition research: Looking backward and moving forward. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, 36(1), 15-24. doi:10.1177/2165143413475659

Other Publications

Taylor, C. E., Carter, E. W., Annandale, N. H., Boehm, T. L., Logeman, A. K., (2014). Welcoming people with developmental disabilities and their families: A practical guide for congregations. Nashville, TN: Faith and Flourishing Project, Kennedy Center, Vanderbilt University.

Selected Research Presentations

International Conferences (*invited)

*Boehm, T. L. (2015, February). The implications of being created in God’s image for disability ministry. Presentation at the 1st Global Access Conference sponsored by Joni and Friends International Disability Center.

National Conferences

Boehm, T. L., Carter, E. W. (2013, December). Spirituality of youth and young adults with significant disabilities and their families. Presentation at the 38th Annual TASH Conference. Chicago, IL.

Gaventa, B., Carter, E. W., Boehm, T. L., Nord, D., Timmons, J., & Hatfield-Callen, J. (2013, November). Addressing diversity in backgrounds and support systems by honoring spirituality and congregational connections. Presentation at the 2013 Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Conference. Washington, DC.

Boehm, T. L., Carter, E. W. (2013, June). Quality of life among adolescents with significant disabilities and their families: Predictive factors. Poster presentation at the 137th Annual American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) Conference. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Carter, E. W., & Boehm, T. L. (2013, June). Spirituality, strengths, and well-being of adolescents and young adults with significant disabilities and their families. Presentation at the 137th Annual American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) Conference. Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

State Conferences

Boehm, T. L., Carter, E. W., & Biggs, Elizabeth (2014, June). Faith matters: Encouraging spiritual expression of youth with intellectual disabilities and/or autism and their families. Presentation at the 12th Annual Tennessee Disability Megaconference. Nashville, Tennessee.

Boehm, T.L., Taylor, C., Shouse, B. (2013, April). Faith and flourishing: Is it really better to give than receive? Presentation at the 5th Annual Tennessee Brothers and Sisters (TABS) Conference. Nashville, Tennessee.

*Carter, E. W. & Boehm, T. L. (2012, June). Faith and disability: Stories, strategies, and starting points. Presentation at the 10th Annual Tennessee Disability Megaconference. Nashville, Tennessee.

Boehm, T. L. (2011, June). Faith community inclusion: Vision-driven advocacy. Presentation at the 9th Annual Tennessee Disability Megaconference. Nashville, Tennessee.

Boehm, T. L. (2011, May). Faith community inclusion: From vision to action. Presentation at Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee’s (DSAMT) Biannual Statewide Conference. Nashville, Tennessee.

Selected Workshops, Trainings and Other Presentations (*invited)

*Boehm, T. L. (2015, May). Faith community inclusion perspectives as a parent, scholar, and founder of Faith for All. Video interview presentation for graduate level class, “Welcoming People with Disabilities in Faith Communities,” at Institute for Human Development at University of Missouri—Kansas City and Central Baptist Theological Seminary.

*Boehm, T. L., Carter, E. W. (2014, May). Supporting faith and flourishing among people with IDD and their families: Lessons learned from a mixed-methods research project. Webinar presentation for American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD).

*Boehm, T.L. (2012, June) Including people with disabilities in faith communities. Panelist at Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee’s Spirituality and Mental Health Conference. Nashville, Tennessee.

*Boehm, T. L. (2011, October). Developing special needs ministries. Presentation at Master Hope Special Needs Ministry Conference. Nashville, Tennessee.

*Boehm, T. L. (2011, June). New horizons. Keynote graduation address delivered at Middle Tennessee Home Education Association. Nashville, Tennessee.

*Boehm, T. L. (2010, September). Inclusivity of people with disabilities in faith based communities. Presenter on a Panel Presentation at Gordon Jewish Community Center Special Event. Nashville, Tennessee.

A more complete CV is available here.

Media Center