My research focuses on improving academic and post-secondary outcomes for students with and at-risk for mild to moderate disabilities, such as learning disabilities, dyslexia, ADHD, etc. My main areas of interest are: (1) reading interventions for adolescents with reading difficulties and disabilities, including students who are English Learners; and (2) preventing dropout with at-risk populations. Prior to obtaining my Ph.D., I was a high school special education teacher and reading specialist in Statesboro, Georgia. I primarily taught reading and English/Language Arts to students with mild/moderate disabilities in grades 9-12 in resource and inclusion settings. I also have extensive experience tutoring elementary and middle school students with reading disabilities and ADHD.

Areas of Expertise

  • Dyslexia
  • Learning Disabilities
  • K-12 Reading Instruction & Intervention
  • Adolescent Literacy
  • Explicit and Systematic Instruction


  •  Ph.D in Special Education in Learning Disabilities and Behavior Disorders, 2017
    University of Texas at Austin
  •  Ed.S. in Teaching and Learning in Special Education, 2013
    Georgia Southern University
  •  M.Ed. in Reading Education, 2010
    Georgia Southern University
  •  B.S.Ed. in Special Education, 2009
    Georgia Southern University



 (706) 542-4510 (office)



Selected Journal Articles

Student engagement among high school English learners with reading comprehension difficulties.
  • Williams, K. J., Martinez, L. R., Fall, A.-M., Miciak, J., & Vaughn, S. (2023).
  • School Psychology Review, 52(1), 38-56.
A two-study conceptual replication investigating the role of initial word-reading skills with response to intervention for high school students.
  • Solis, M., Kulesz, P., & Williams, K. J. (2023).
  • Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 38(1), 26-39.
Effects of a reading intervention and a mentoring intervention for ninth-grade English learners with reading difficulties.
  • Vaughn, S., Martinez, L. R., Williams, K. J., Miciak, J., Fall, A.-M., & Roberts, G. (2022).
  • Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 15(3), 558-583.
Effects of an intensive reading intervention for ninth grade English learners with learning disabilities.
  • Williams, K. J., & Vaughn, S. (2020).
  • Learning Disability Quarterly, 43(3), 154-166.
Supporting reading comprehension for students who are learning English and have learning disabilities.
  • Williams, K. J., & Martinez, L. R. (2019).
  • Intervention in School and Clinic, 55(1), 23-31.
Current evidence on the effects of intensive early reading interventions.
  • Wanzek, J., Stevens, E. A., Williams, K. J., Scammacca, N., Vaughn, S., & Sargent, K. (2018).
  • Journal of Learning Disabilities, 51(6), 612-624.
A synthesis of spelling interventions for secondary students with disabilities.
  • Williams, K. J., Austin, C. R., & Vaughn, S. (2018).
  • Journal of Special Education, 52(1), 3-15.
A synthesis of reading and spelling interventions and their effects on spelling outcomes for students with learning disabilities.
  • Williams, K. J., Walker, M. A., Vaughn, S., & Wanzek, J. (2017).
  • Journal of Learning Disabilities, 50(3), 286-297.

Chapters in Books

High quality core classroom reading instruction.
  • Williamson, P., Williams, K. J., Furjanic, D., & Toste, J. R. (2023).
  • In B. Hott (Ed.), Quality instruction and intervention: Strategies for secondary educators (pp. 6-22). Rowman & Littlefield.
Reading comprehension interventions for individuals with dyslexia.
  • Williams, K. J., Capin, P., Stevens, E. A., & Vaughn, S. (2019).
  • In J. A. Washington, D. L. Compton, & P. McCardle (Eds.), Dyslexia: Revisiting etiology, diagnosis, treatment, and policy (pp. 148-160). Paul H. Brookes.
RTI in secondary schools: Current issues and recommendations.
  • Williams, K. J., Stevens, E. A., & Vaughn, S. (2018).
  • In P. C. Cullen & M. J. Kennedy (Eds.), Handbook of multi-tiered systems of support and response to intervention (pp. 354-366). Routledge.

Other Works

Word Connections: A multisyllabic word reading program (2nd ed.) [Reading Intervention Program].
  • Toste, J. R., Capin, P., Williams, K. J., Kearns, D. M., & Vaughn, S. (2023).
  • figshare.

Awards and Accolades

Mumford Excellence in Extraordinary Teaching (2020-2021)

Faculty Academy on Excellence in Teaching, Indiana University, 2021

Student Choice Award (2021)

School of Education, Indiana University, 2022

Trustees’ Teaching Award

School of Education, Indiana University, 2020