Emily Shea Tanis, PhD, became the Acting Executive Director for the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities at the University of Colorado, effective April 1, 2018. She succeeds David Braddock, PhD who served as the Executive Director for the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities for 17 years. As a member of the Coleman leadership team for the last eight years, Tanis recently served as the Associate Director. She is also on the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, where she has published articles and investigated the definition of intellectual disability, the measurement of adaptive behavior and support need, the construct of self-determination, federally funded supports and services for people with IDD and their families, and self-directed employment strategies. She is nationally recognized for her expertise in applied cognitive technology supports, cognitive accessibility, and advancing the rights of people with cognitive disabilities to technology and information access.
She also serves as co-Pi for the State of the States in Developmental Disabilities Project of National Significance funded by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, which investigates the determinants of public spending for Intellectual and Developmental Disability Services in the United States and contributes to the project of Public Spending and Services for People with Disabilities examining cross-disability public spending in the United States. Tanis has been a co-author on The State of the States in Developmental Disabilities Monograph since 2011. She is the sibling of a man with a traumatic brain injury and is past-chair of the National Sibling Leadership Network and co-founder of the Colorado Sibling Leadership Network Chapter. She received her PhD from the University of Kansas, Department of Special Education, MA from Rhode Island College, and BA from Brown University in psychology.