Steven R. Sligar, EdD

Steven R. Sligar

Coordinator, Vocational Evaluation Certificate

Steven R. Sligar. Ed.D. serves as an assistant professor and director of the Graduate Program in Vocational Evaluation. He has a Masters in Rehabilitation and Special Education with a specialization in Vocational Evaluation from Auburn University and a Doctorate in Adult Education and Human Resource Development from Northern Illinois University.

Dr. Sligar has over 30 years experience as a vocational evaluator and program administrator. Fluent in American Sign Language, Dr. Sligar has conducted over 1000 vocational evaluations of persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind. He has been the administrator of three community-based rehabilitation programs that served persons who were deaf and/or blind.

Teaching/Research Philosophy

My teaching is progressive and humanistic because I want to help the learner discover ways to solve problems on the job, in the community or at home. I believe teaching is accomplished through active interaction with the learner regardless of the medium of instruction.

My research is about the construction of knowledge to understand social phenomenon, connected with other disciplines and disseminated actively and purposefully.

Research Interests

Dr. Sligar has three primary research areas, which are rehabilitation, access for persons with disabilities and administration of rehabilitation programs, most within the context of deafness rehabilitation. One recent research activity was participation as a Panel participant with the Rehabilitation Services Administration and the University of Arkansas National Institute on Rehabilitation Issues on A New Paradigm for Vocational Evaluation: Empowering the VR Consumer through Vocational Information. He was involved with three separate research projects that examined campus climate for students with disabilities. These were mixed methods studies that surveyed faculty, disability support services staff and students with disabilities about accommodations provided or received. He conducted a qualitative analysis of comments from the subjects and the results were recently published in the Journal of Higher Education and Disability.

Current projects include ecological and community-based assessment, issues of substance use in the process of vocational evaluation, evaluation of the accessibility and usability of web sites and participation in a long term follow-up study of the employment experiences of a cohort of individuals with learning disabilities.

Courses Taught

  • REHB 2000 Survey of Community Resources in Rehabilitation and Health Care
  • REHB 5400 Introduction to Vocational Evaluation
  • REHB 6401 Rehabilitation Evaluation
  • REHB 6405 Vocational Evaluation Practicum/Lab
  • REHB 7403 Advanced Vocational Evaluation Methods
  • REHB 7404 Seminar in Vocational Evaluation Administration
  • REHB 7601 Rehabilitation Administration
  • REHB 8420 Program Evaluation
  • REHB 8630 Theory & Design of Rehabilitation Programs

Employment Experience

Teaching and Training

East Carolina University (ECU), Greenville, NC
Assistant Professor Director Graduate Program in Vocational Evaluation (2004-present)
Duties: Teach graduate courses in vocational evaluation and doctoral level courses in rehabilitation administration. Direct graduate program in vocational evaluation which includes student advisement, management of the vocational evaluation lab, selection and ordering of all psychometric tests for student use and training.

Rock Valley College (RVC), Rockford, IL
Adjunct Instructor (2003-2005)
Duties: Taught credit entry level class in business relations and organizational behavior.

Northern Illinois University Department of Communicative Disorders, DeKalb, IL
Adjunct Instructor (2004 & 2002)
Duties: Taught graduate class in vocational assessment and undergraduate class in job coaching.

CBT Training Systems (TS), Frankfort, IL
Training Associate (1995-present)
Duties: Provide training, consultation and evaluation to public and private sector organizations in the areas of job development and placement, and in the administration of human resources.

Northern Illinois University Adult Continuing Education, DeKalb, IL
Instructor (1995)
Duties: Taught continuing education class in beginning American Sign Language.

Georgia Perimeter College (formerly DeKalb College), Clarkston, GA
Part-time Instructor (1990-1994)
Duties: Administered interpreter training program entrance examination; coordinated total sign language immersion practicum; and taught continuing education, credit beginning and intermediate sign language, and orientation to deafness classes.

Alamo Community College (formerly San Antonio College), San Antonio, TX
Part-time Instructor (1979-1988)
Duties: Taught basic job related sign language classes.


Center for Sight & Hearing (CSH), Rockford, IL
Vice President of Community Services (1996-2004)
Duties: Coordinated and developed employment related services including evaluation, employee development, and community employment services. Developed assistive technology program with annual sales of over $100,000. Provided individual program consultation and communication assessments for vocational rehabilitation programs. Coordinated CSH program accreditation process for CARF. Managed contracts for provision of services, technical assistance, and professional development activities in a twelve-state region.

Northern Illinois University Research and Training Center on Traditionally Underserved Persons Who Are Deaf (NIU-RTC), DeKalb, IL
Visiting Research Associate (1995)
Duties: Assisted with research projects to determine prevalence rates of target population and develop computerized case simulation for training service providers. Assisted with other resource development and training activities. Identified and created research materials, collected and analyzed data, and translated research results into usable products. Disseminated information or products through training, technical assistance, and publication.

State of Georgia, Division of Rehabilitation Services (GA DRS), Georgia Sensory Rehabilitation Center (GSRC), College Park, GA
Director (1988-1994)
Duties: Directed a statewide vocational and independent living rehabilitation program for persons who are deaf and/or blind. Managed a facility that provided six primary services (evaluation, personal and social adjustment, occupational skills training, job development/placement, rehabilitation technology, and 24 hour residential services with 33 beds), support services (transportation, library/media center, and transitional housing), and administrative services (personnel and fiscal management, planning and program evaluation, human resource development, and contractual services). Ensured advisory council input in planning and monitoring programs not available elsewhere in Georgia. Provided direct administrative management of a facility consisting of 35,000 square feet, 12 apartments, 50 staff members, a $2 million annual budget, and served over 175 persons per year.

Methodist Mission Home (formerly the Southwest Center for the Hearing Impaired or SCHI), San Antonio, TX
Director, SCHI (1980-1988)
Duties: Directed comprehensive residential facility providing rehabilitation services (vocational evaluation, counseling, work adjustment and independent living skills training) for 70 severely and multiply handicapped deaf adults. Supervised staff of 27 with annual operating budget of approximately one million dollars.

Vocational Evaluator for SCHI (1977-1979) Duties: Provided first-line supervision to four staff and conducted comprehensive vocational and independent living assessments.

Cave Spring Rehabilitation Center (CSRC), Cave Spring, GA
Evaluator II (1974-1977)
Evaluator I (1973-1974)
State Merit Intern (1972-1973)
Duties: Provided vocational and independent living assessments of students from the Georgia School for the Deaf and adults as referred from around the state.

Selected Publications

Sligar, S., Burke, R., & Kavin, D. (2006). What were we thinking? ADARA’s construction of knowledge: 1976-2006. Manuscript in preparation.

Sligar, S. & Toriello, P. (2006). Improving services to clients with addiction issues: New paradigms for vocational evaluation practice. Manuscript in preparation.

Sligar, S. (in press), Deaf and hearing: Conducting cross-cultural research in a postsecondary setting. Journal of the American Deafness and Rehabilitation Association.

Vogel, S., Burgstahler, S., Sligar, S., & Zecker, S. (2006). Faculty knowledge and practices regarding students with disabilities in three contrasting institutions of higher education. Journal of postsecondary education and disability, 18 (2) 109-123.

Blashaski, L., & Sligar. S. (2004). Link by link: A guide to the development and implementation of services for persons who are deafblind and live in rural areas. Rockford, IL: Center for Sight & Hearing.

Faulkner, G., Harmon, M., Johnson, L., Latz, R., Parnes, A., Currie-Richardson, D., & Sligar, S. (2004). Matching needs and services: Strategies to serve persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or late deafened. St. Paul, MN: Midwest Center for Postsecondary Outreach St. Paul College – A Community & Technical College.

Sligar, S. (2003). Pointers on how to conduct a vocational communication assessment. Proceedings of the 2003 western symposium on rehabilitation and deafness.

Sligar, S., Diederich, C., & Schlueter, K. (2003). Sailing with a crew of cats: Learning to lead and manage. In L. Piper & D. Watson (Eds.), Selected proceedings of 2002 conference of the Association of Late-Deafened Adults.

Jones, D. & Sligar, S. (2000). Money? money! money$: Writing fee for service contracts as an income source [Brief report]. Journal of the American Deafness and Rehabilitation Association, 33 (2) 50-53.

Sligar, S. (2000). A review of contemporary literature of the practices of postsecondary institutions in the United States as regards students with disabilities. Conference Papers: Adult Learning in the New Millenium. Lahti, Finland: University of Helsinki, Palmenia Centre for Research and Continuing Education.

Kavin, D., Sligar, S., & Ouellete, S. (1997). An advisory council of deaf consumers: an approach that works. Journal of the American Deafness and Rehabilitation Association 30 (4) 1-7.

Allen, T.E. & Sligar, S. (1994). The assessment of deaf individuals in the context of rehabilitation. In R.C. Nowell & L.E. Marshak (Eds.), Understanding Deafness and the Rehabilitation Process. (113-142). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Professional Associations

  • Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD-international)
  • American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE)
  • American Deafness and Rehabilitation Association (ADARA)
  • National Rehabilitation Association (NRA)
  • North Carolina Rehabilitation Association (NCRA)
  • North Carolina Vocational Evaluation and Work Adjustment Association (NCVEWAA)
  • Professional Association of Rehabilitation Counselors (PARC)
  • Vocational Evaluation and Career Assessment Professionals (VECAP)
  • Vocational Evaluation and Work Adjustment Association (VEWAA)


Hobbies—music, especially the blues, reading historical fiction and biographies when time permits—sometimes on an airplane while traveling to someplace fun, also staying healthy with exercise and running.