Dr. Fran Conners trained in experimental psychology and intellectual disability research with Douglas K. Detterman at Case Western Reserve University and spent two years as a postdoctoral research associate working on reading disability research with Richard K. Olson at the University of Colorado. She received a 5-year NIH FIRST award (R29) as an early career investigator to study phonological skills in children with intellectual disabilities (ID). Her main research interests are in language and cognition in individuals with ID, especially those with Down syndrome. She looks for areas of strength as well as areas of specific difficulty, how they impact higher-level cognitive/language function, and what implications there are for intervention. Her focus areas are in implicit processing, working memory, and reading. Dr. Conners teaches courses in research methods and intellectual disabilities. For more information on Dr. Conners' work visit her website at
Registry Coordinator 
Eric Cooks coordinates the University of Alabama Intellectual Disabilities Participant Registry. Eric did his undergraduate and master’s work at the University of Alabama where he received a B.A. in Psychology and an M.A. in Communication Studies. Eric is the father of a nine year old with Down syndrome, Isabella, and is especially interested not only in recruiting families for research but also in serving as a resource.

Registry Assistants 
Hayleigh Flores is from Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is currently a sophomore double-majoring in Biology and Psychology on the Pre-Medical tract. She spends time volunteering as a mentor to 2nd graders at a local elementary school, and she is also the assistant to the chapter president of her sorority. She enjoys being outdoors, reading, and spending time with friends and family.
Erika Schemmel is a junior from Detroit, Michigan. She Psychology major and double minor in Math and Biology. Erika worked at a dog hotel, and her spare time she likes to run, read, and drink lots of coffee.