James R. Thompson, PhD,. has over 30 years of experience in the field of developmental disabilities as a direct support professional, special educator, rehabilitation counselor, teacher educator, and researcher. He has authored or co-authored over 70 books, book chapters, monographs, and articles in professional journals, and has directed multiple federal and state funded research and model demonstration projects. His research focus for the past 10 years has been on support needs assessment and planning. He is the lead author of AAIDD’s Supports Intensity Scale (SIS), the first assessment tool to provide a standardized measure of the support needs of adults with developmental disabilities. The SIS has been translated and published in 13 languages, and is being used throughout the United States and world.Dr. Thompson earned his undergraduate degree in special education (1980) and a masters degree in educational administration (1989) from Illinois State University. He earned a doctoral degree in educational psychology (1994) from the University of Minnesota. He currently serves as a Professor of Education in the Department of Special at Illinois State University, where he has received awards for outstanding teacher and outstanding researcher in the College of Education. He is an AAIDD Fellow and a past president of AAIDD’s Education Division. He has previously served on the Board of Directors for the Council for Exceptional Children’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Division, and is currently on the Board of Directors for the Arduin Academy for Quality of Life.