Susan O’Rourke is a professor of education and the program director for the special education programs at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is the co-leader for the Carlow Cares: Sligo, Ireland & Nicaragua Study Abroad Programs . Susan earned her doctorate in Instructional Design & Technology and a master's degree in Special Education from the University of Pittsburgh. She was a teacher of children with multiple disabilities at The Rehabilitation Institute of Pittsburgh (now the Children's Institute) for 10 years prior to joining the faculty at Carlow in 1997.
Her interests include international special education focusing on vulnerable children in developing countries and the integration and harnessing of technology - specifically the use of video conferencing to support student engagement and learning, the use of assistive technology by students with special needs, and distance education. She specializes in the teaching and learning of children with autism spectrum disorders, multiple disabilities and children with social, emotional and behavioral disorders. Her current research focuses on the power of the Arts to transform learning environments for children with special needs.
Susan is the Past President of the Division of International Special Education and Services (DISES) and a founding member of the Division of Performing and Visual Arts Education (DARTS) - divisions within the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). She has collaborated with special education professionals and provided professional development to teachers and school administrators in North, South and Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, Middle East and Africa.