MaryAnn Demchak, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Professor of Special Education
Photo of MaryAnn Demchak


Dr. MaryAnn Demchak is a Professor of Special Education and Disability Studies in the College of Education and Human Development, where she teaches courses in severe, multiple disabilities and applied behavior analysis in special education: Methods of Teaching Students with Intellectual Disability; Medical Aspects of Disabilities; Augmentative/Alternative Communication; Behavior Management in Severe Disabilities; Assessment of Students with Severe Disabilities; and Single Case Research Design. She has also taught a variety of special topics courses such as emerging literacy for students with severe, multiple disabilities; communication for students with severe, multiple disabilities; characteristics of intellectual disability; and various courses in the area of deafblindness.

Dr. Demchak has nearly 100 publications (peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and other publications) and 250 national and international presentations. Her research emphasis is on instruction of students with severe, multiple disabilities, including sensory impairments; behavioral skills training of paraprofessional and professional staff; and applied behavior analysis in special education. Dr. Demchak has obtained approximately $6.2 million in external funding for a variety of personnel preparation and outreach activities. She has previously served as Program Coordinator for Special Education, Graduate Director of Special Education, Graduate Director of the Doctoral Program, Chair of the Department of Educational Specialties, Division Director, and Associate Dean for the College of Education & Human Development. Dr. Demchak is currently the coordinator of the Special Education Program’s Verified Course Sequence in Applied Behavior Analysis in Special Education sub-plan. She is also the director of Nevada’s state deafblind project (Nevada Dual Sensory Impairment Project). The project provides technical assistance to families and service providers of children, birth-22 years of age, who have impairments in both vision and hearing.

Dr. Demchak works extensively throughout the state in schools and early intervention settings, as well as with families, to support the educational needs of children with severe, multiple disabilities that include impairments in both vision and hearing. A few examples of recent collaborative research with current and former doctoral students include using the system of least prompts to teach symbol use to students with deafblindness, using system of least prompts delivered via remote instruction to teach nutrition education to students with intellectual disability, and using constant time delay to teach sight words to students with vision and hearing impairments.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University
  • M.P.A., The Pennsylvania State University
  • M.S., Shippensburg State College
  • B.S., Clarion State College