Emily Thatcher

Emily Thatcher
  • Research Project Manager, Shared Writing Instructional Model (SWIM)


Emily Thatcher, M.A.Ed, is the research project manager for the Shared Writing Instructional Model (SWIM) program for students with intellectual disabilities. Thatcher develops SWIM components, collects research data, and provides coaching support for the program’s implementation sites. She earned a master’s degree from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Iowa State University, with a concentration on literacy learning for students with significant disabilities. 

Formerly a program consultant for the Iowa Department of Education (IDOE), Thatcher worked with educators to improve instruction for students with complex learning and communication needs. Prior to her time at IDOE, Thatcher served 20 years as a Pre-K–12 classroom teacher for students with significant disabilities.


M.A.Ed in Literacy Learning for Students with Significant Disabilities, Iowa State University

Selected Presentations

Thatcher, E. (2020). Driving the CAR all day long. Assistive Technology Industry Association. Thatcher, E. (2017). Transitioning to new science standards. Association for Science Teacher Education.  

Thatcher, E. (2017). Statewide collaboration to prepare and license teachers to educate students with significant disabilities. Council of Exceptional Children.  

Thatcher, E. (2016). Students with significant disabilities: Building the future, transforming our past. Office of Special Education.  

Thatcher, E. (2015). One state’s theory of action for developing a statewide system of integrated supports. Council of Exceptional Children.  

Thatcher, E. (2015). Consortium of Low Incidence Teacher Preparation Programs in Kansas Project.  

Thatcher, E. (2014). One state’s journey. Office of Special Education Project Meeting.  

Thatcher, E. (2014). Alternate assessment data in support of local decision making. U.S. Office of Special Education