Faculty Profiles


Magaña, Sandy M

Academic Title

Professor, Disability and Human Development

Contact Info

Phone: 312-355-4537
Email: maganas@uic.edu
Office Location: 1640 W. Roosevelt Rd. (DHSP), Room 712

Program Affiliations

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, Master of Science in Disability and Human Development, PhD in Disabilities Studies

Brief Bio

Dr. Magaña holds a Masters in Social Work from California State University, San Bernardino and received her PhD from the Heller Graduate School of Social Policy at Brandeis University. She completed post doctoral training from the Waisman Center NIH funded Post Doctoral Training Program in Developmental Disabilities Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is also a Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty. Previous to her UIC position, Dr. Magaña was a Professor in the School of Social Work an the Waisman Center at University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was also director of the Chicana/o & Latina/o Studies Program at UW-Madison from 2008-2011.


Dr. Magaña’s research focus is on the cultural context of families who care for persons with disabilities and mental illness and the experiences of parents who have disabilities. More recently, her research has focused on health disparities for minority caregivers and diagnosis and treatment disparities for Latino and Black children with an autism spectrum disorder; and on interventions to reduce health and service disparities.

Current Research:
Her current research includes an NIH funded study examining the cultural equivalence of the Autism Diagnostic Instrument for children with Spanish speaking families and a NIDDR funded study that evaluates a health education program for Latina mothers of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Dr. Magaña will be launching a new project at UIC to empower Latino families who have a child with an autism spectrum disorder which is aimed at reducing service disparities for Latino parent and children.

Selected Publications

Magaña, S., & Smith, L. (in press). Are there differences in ADI-R lifetime scores between Latinoand non-Latino adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders? Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Magaña, S., Parish, S., Rose, R., Timberlake, M., & Swaine J. (2012). Racial and ethnic disparities in quality of health care among children with autism and other developmental disabilities. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 50, 287-299.

Parish, S., Magaña, S., Rose, R., Timberlake, M., & Swaine, J. (2012) Health care of Latino Children with autism and other developmental disabilities: Quality of provider Interaction mediates utilization. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 117, 304-315.

Magaña S & Ghosh, S. (in press). Older adults of color with developmental disabilities and serious mental illness: Experiences and service patterns. In K. Whitfield and T. Baker (Eds.) Handbook of Minority Aging. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Current Grants and Contracts

Health Education for Latina Mothers of Children with Developmental Disabilities
Role: Principal Investigator
One of 5 research projects of the University of Illinois at Chicago Rehabilitation Research and Training Center
NIDRR funded. $250,000, 10/1/08-9/30/13.

Community Service

Helped to found and run support groups for Spanish speaking families with Developmental Disabilities in Madison, WI


Current Activities

Associate Editor, Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disaiblities
Member of Sesame Workshops Exploratory Autism Advisory Committee
Member of the Hispanic Research Work-Group of the Administration for Children and Families Offices of Planning and Evaluation

Professional Memberships


PhD in Social Policy, Heller Graduate School, Brandeis University
MSW in Social Work, Cal State San Bernardino
BA in Social Welfare, Sacramento State University

Professional Experience

2012-present - Professor, Department of Disability and Human Development and Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Illinois at Chicago
2011-2012 - Professor, School of Social Work, University of Wisconsin-Madison
2008-2011 - Director, Chican@ & Latin@ Studies Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison
2007-2011 - Associate Professor, School of Social Work, University of Wisconsin-Madison
2000-2007 - Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Follow AHS Online

AHS Facebook
AHS Twitter
AHS Hashtag Directory