Michael E. Crawford has 40 years of experience in the field of recreational therapy including time as a practitioner, university educator, distance educator, researcher, and director of clinical services.
He has generated $2.6 million in lifetime grants, which include long-term innovative applied research and services projects in autism and adult day programs for persons with intellectual disabilities.
Crawford has published 44 peer review journal articles and authored or coauthored 3 textbooks and 14 invited chapters.
He was the cofounder and inaugural editor of the Annual in Therapeutic Recreation and has served as managing editor of the Journal of Expanding Horizons in Therapeutic Recreation, and as an associate editor for the Therapeutic Recreation Journal, Leisure Today, and Journal of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance.
Crawford is the recipient of the University of Missouri Outstanding Researcher Award in Behavioral and Social Sciences as well as the Mable Lee Outstanding Researcher award given by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance.
He also received the Tommy Wilson Award from the American Association for Leisure and Recreation for outstanding program demonstration in the area of recreation for persons with disabilities.
He has made over 60 international, national, and regional presentations at professional and scientific conferences and has served as a consultant and researcher for 10 long-term research projects.
Crawford is the director of Recreational Therapy at the Munroe-Meyer Institute for Genetics and Rehabilitation at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and is associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics.
His clinical service provides year-round lifespan programs, both inclusive and rehabilitative in nature, for over 650 persons with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
His department has trained over 35 recreational therapy interns in the last 12 years, helping to ensure a next generation of clinicians well versed in current best practice standards.