Sandra Magana

Sandy Magaña

Professor, Disability and Human Development

Office Phone



1640 W. Roosevelt Rd., 705A DHSP

Mail Code


Office Hours

By appointment


I am a professor in DHD and OT and have been investigating racial and ethnic disparities among children with developmental disabilities and among their family caregivers. Building on this research, I have developed culturally relevant interventions to address these disparities. I am leading a two-site randomized trial of an intervention that seeks to empower Latino parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). I am currently leading the Family Support Research and Training Center (FSRTC) which includes a national family support resource center. This center brings together research on families who support members across disabilities, life course, and race/ethnicity.

Selected Grants

National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), Family Support Research and Training Center, Co-PI

National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), Parents Taking Action: A parent training intervention for Latino immigrant families of children with ASD, PI

Midwest Roybal Center for Health Promotion Translation, sponsored by the National Institute on Aging, By Caring for Myself, a health intervention for older Latino caregivers of children with autism and developmental disabilities, PI

Service to the Community

I have partnered with several community based organizations to provide training and materials to implement Parents Taking Action and other interventions.

Leadership in the Profession

Simon's Foundation Powering Autism Research for Knowledge (SPARK), Advisory Board

Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC), Advisory Member

Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Intellectual Disabilities, Executive Committee Member

Sesame Workshops, Autism Advisory Committee

Notable Honors

2016 - Researcher of the Year, UIC College of Applied Health Sciences


Post Doctoral Fellow, University of Wisconsin-Madison (NICHD funded), 1998-2000
PhD, Social Policy, Heller Graduate School, Brandeis University, 1999
MSW, Social Work, California State University, 1993
BA, Social Work, California State University, 1979