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Joanne Karger, J.D., Ed.D.

Policy Analyst & Research Scientist
Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST)

Joanne Karger is a Policy Analyst and Research Scientist at CAST, the Center for Applied Special Technology. Previously, Dr. Karger was an attorney at the Boston office of the Center for Law and Education (CLE), a national, legal advocacy organization that promotes the right of all students, in particular those from low-income backgrounds, to a high-quality education. She has a law degree from Boston College Law School and a doctorate in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where her research focused on special education law and policy.


At CAST, Dr. Karger analyzes legal and policy issues associated with the provision of accessible instructional materials and access to the general education curriculum for students with disabilities. Her previous work included serving as a member of a team of consultants who conducted evaluations of the special education programs in a number of large urban school districts, including New York City (as part of the Jose P. litigation); the District of Columbia (as part of the Blackman/Jones litigation); and several low-income school districts in Massachusetts (as part of the Hancock v. Driscoll school finance lawsuit).


Previously, Dr. Karger represented low-income families and provided technical assistance and legal services in a variety of education law-related matters, including the rights of students with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title I/No Child Left Behind Act.


Dr. Karger’s publications address a range of issues, including the provision of access to the general education curriculum for students with disabilities, the inclusion of students with disabilities in the accountability system for all students, the allocation of the burden of proof in special education due process hearings, urban special education reform, the education of youth in the juvenile justice system, and community integration for individuals with mental disabilities.