Skip to main content Skip to navigation
College of Education

Brenda Barrio


Brenda Barrio

Assistant Professor
Special Education
Pullman campus
Cleveland Hall 334
Pullman, WA  99164


Research Gate

Curriculum Vitae

Research Infographic

Research Interests

Brenda Barrio is an Assistant Professor of Special Education at Washington State University. Her research focuses in the areas of disproportionality of culturally and linguistically diverse students in special education, culturally responsive teaching in the response to intervention framework, bilingual and multicultural special education, assistive technology, and pre- and in-service teacher preparation.

She is also the interim director of the WSU ROAR program, the faculty advisor for the Alhadeff Future Teachers of Color program, and an affiliate of the Innovation and Research in Special Education Collaborative (IRSEC), and most recently a Berry Family Fellow.

Teaching and Professional Interests

Dr. Barrio’s professional teaching focus is in special education and general education. Specifically, she has taught graduate and undergraduate special education courses in inclusion, strategies for exceptional learners, diversity in special education, assessment, introduction to special education, policy and historical background in special education, assistive technology, and research in special education. In addition, she taught K-5th grades as a bilingual special education inclusion teacher.

She also chairs the Council for Learning Disabilities Diversity Committee and is a Member-at-Large for the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division of International Special Education.

Education Background

  • Ph.D., Special Education – Mild to Moderate Disabilities, Minor: Bilingual Education, University of North Texas (2013)
  • M.S., Special Education – Mild to Moderate Disabilities, University of North Texas (2008)
  • B.S., Interdisciplinary Studies Early Childhood- Elementary Education Education and Special Education, Minor: Spanish, University of North Texas (2006)

Selected Accomplishments


  • Barrio, B.L., & Hollingshead, A. (2017). Reaching out to paraprofessionals: Engaging professional development in rural communities. Rural Special Education Quarterly.  doi: 10.1177/8756870517721693
  • Scheef, A.R., Walker, Z.M., & Barrio, B.L. (2017). Employee skills valued by employers of youth with disabilities in Singapore. International Journal of Disability, Development, and Education. doi: 10.1080/20473869.2017.1335479
  • Barrio, B. L. (2017). Special education policy change: Addressing the disproportionate representation of English language learners in the learning disabilities category of special education. Rural Special Education Quarterly. doi: 10.1177/8756870517707217
  • Barrio, B.L. & Peak, P., Murawski, W. W. (2017). English language learners in Special Education. In W.W. Murawski (Ed.). What Really Works in Special Education. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
  • Barrio, B.L., Miller, D., Hsaio, Y-J., Dunn, M., Petersen, S., Hollingshead, A., & Banks, S. (2017). Cultural considerations for the Individualized Education Programming. Intervention in School and Clinic.
  • Hovey, K.A., Barrio, B.L., Peak, P.K., Peterson-Ahmad, M.B., & Darrah, T. (2016). To accommodate or not accommodate: A case study. LD Forum.
  • Dunn, M., Barrio, B.L., & Hsaio-Y-J. (2016). Do iPad applications help students with developmental disabilities improve literacy and employability? Canadian Journal of Action Research
  • Scheef, A., Barrio, B. L., & Poppen, M. (2016). Increasing employment opportunities for youth with disabilities in Singapore through effective school and business partnerships. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals
  • Combes, B. H., Peak, P. W., Barrio, B. L., Lindo, E., Hovey, K., Lim, O., Peterson, M., Dorel, T., & Goran, L. (2016). Updating and disseminating the Council for Learning Disabilities’ principles of ethical practice: Employing a case-base framework. Intervention in School and Clinic


  • Carbonneau, K.J., Barrio, B.L., Ardasheva, Y., & Newcomer, S. (2017). Case-based instruction for Culturally Responsive Teaching. Berry Family Fellowship. Role: Co-PI. Funding Awarded: $20,000
  • Adesope, O., Barrio, B.L., Frost, J.H., Girardeau. L.E., Matthew, S., & Roth McDuffie, A., (2016). Multi-Disciplinary Research to Advance Opportunity and Equity in Health Science Education: College of Education and Health Sciences Colleges. Proposal submitted to Washington State University, Grand Challenges Reallocation Funding Program. Funding Requested: $2,975,413. Funding Awarded (in conjunction with the College of Arts and Sciences Research Project): $600,000.
  • Barrio, B.L., (2015). Washington State University College of Education Faculty Funding Award. Reaching Out to Paraprofessionals: Engaging Professional Development in Rural Communities.Funded, $5,000.
  • Hollingshead, A.,  & Barrio, B.L. (2015). University of Idaho College of Education Faculty Funding Award. Reaching Out to Paraprofessionals: Engaging Professional Development in Rural Communities. Funded, $5,000.

International/National Presentations

  • Barrio, B.L., & Peak, P. (2017, October). Pre-service Teachers’ Beliefs About Culturally Responsive RtI: A Multi-university Comparison. Roundtable presentation at the Council for Learning Disabilities Conference in Baltimore, MD.
  • Hsiao, Y., Agrawal, J., Kressler, B.; Barrio, B. & Shankland, R. (2017, October). A Global Perspective of Learning Disabilities: Recommendations for Practitioners. Roundtable presentation at the Council for Learning Disabilities Conference in Baltimore, MD.
  • Barrio, B.L., & Scheef, A. (2017, April). Exploring Pre-Service Teachers’ Concerns about the Implementation of RTI During Their Practicum Experience. Paper presentation at the Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association.
  • Barrio, B.L., Kelley, J., & Cardon, T. (2017, April). Pre-service teachers’ understanding and perceptions of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) before and after reading ASD narrative fiction. Paper presentation at the Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association.
  • Barrio, B.L., Moua, M., & Petrie, K. (2017, April). Addressing disproportionality by understanding pre-service teachers’ beliefs about cultural responsive practices in an RTI Model: A mixed-methods study. Paper presentation at the Council for Exceptional Children Annual Convention.
  • Hollingshead, A., & Barrio, B.L. (2017, April). Reaching Out: Engaging Paraprofessionals in Rural Communities. Paper presentation at the Council for Exceptional Children Annual Convention.


  • 2015 CEC’s Division of International Special Education Services Doctoral Student Research Award
  • 2015 CEC’s Division for Learning Disabilities Outstanding Doctoral Level Research Award (Nominee)
  • 2013 Graduate Student Excellence Award, Honors Day, University of North Texas

Washington State University