• Director, TeleOutreach Center
+1 612-624-1450
Masonic Institute on the Developing Brain
Rm 1-323 [map]
2025 E River Pkwy
MInneapolis, MN 55414

Jessica Simacek serves as the Director of the ICI-led TeleOutreach Center and the TeleOutreach Research Core at the Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain. Dr. Simacek is the Principal Investigator on research projects related to the use of innovative distance-learning technologies to improve access to interventions for children with developmental disabilities or complex communication needs and for their families. She serves as a faculty mentor to fellows in the MN Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (MN-LEND) program and her work has appeared widely in peer-reviewed journals focusing on intervention research. She has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, Special Education, from the University of Minnesota, and is a former MN-LEND fellow.



Minnesota DHS Systems Change and Capacity Building Through Research, Training, and Technical Assistance Projects

Conducts research, training and technical assistance activities that enhance Minnesota's capacity to support community living for individuals with disabilities and/or mental illness. Primary areas …


Minnesota Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program (MNLEND)

Prepares future leaders who will serve children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), other neurodevelopmental and related disabilities (NDDs), and their families in healthcare, education, human …


TeleOutreach Center

The TeleOutreach Center at the Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain brings together researchers, clinical pediatric providers, and developmental specialists to use technology to understand …


Project SCOPE: Supporting Children of the Opioid Epidemic

ICI's MNLEND program created a network of partner organizations across Minnesota to enhance developmental screening, monitoring, and education for families dealing with the effects of opioid …


Technical Assistance and Consultation to the Association of Positive Behavior Support

Provided expert consultation on intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to the Association of Positive Behavior Support (APBS). This included the development of technical assistance …


Autism Intervention Research Network On Physical Health (AIR-P)

ICI investigators are part of a national research network formed to improve the physical health and well-being of children and adults with autism. The multidisciplinary team, called the Autism …


Bridging Barriers to Intervention Access for Waitlisted Children with ASD and Their Families

This research project is creating a randomized control trial to learn how to improve outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who are waitlisted for diagnostic evaluation or …


Agreement between structured descriptive assessments and functional analyses conducted over a telehealth system

This study examined whether experimental functional analyses (FAs) conducted by parents at home with coaching via telehealth would produce differentiated results, and compared these results to the …

Published: 2019-11-01

Knowledge/Skill Barriers: Studying Successful Case Examples

This chapter presents three case examples highlighting the successful use of strategies for addressing knowledge/skill barriers. The first case illustrates the use of instructional coaching to …

Published: 2023

HCBS Modules for Person-Centered Organizations: Using a Team Approach to Build on Person-Centered Practices (#2)

This module tells how to create a team who will improve services. There are many different types of HCBS, which means that teams will look different across providers. This module helps you consider…

Published: 8/27/2021

HCBS Modules for Person-Centered Organizations: Making Person-Centered Practices a Part of Everyday Work (#6)

Successful teams include new person-centered ideas in the meetings, work routines, and trainings that already occur within HCBS. This module will share how teams have been able to work smarter, …

Published: 8/27/2021

Current trends in telehealth applications to deliver social communication interventions for young children with or at risk for autism spectrum disorder

Purpose of Review: Early, intensive, and high-quality interventions can often improve social communication outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Many children experience …

Published: 2020-10-12

HCBS Modules for Person-Centered Organizations: Creating an Action Plan (#5)

Once the assessment is complete, teams will choose a simple set of actions that can be completed by working smarter, not harder, and by considering the work that is already being done within the …

Published: 8/27/2021

HCBS Modules for Person-Centered Organizations: Assessing Your Organization’s Strengths and Needs (#4)

Each HCBS provider is unique. A completed assessment will reflect the strengths of existing services as well as what can be done to improve outcomes for people. Different approaches are used to …

Published: 8/27/2021

Adapting positive behavioural support technical assistance strategies to the 'new normal' emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic

This paper discusses strategies to deliver person-centered, positive behavior supports that were employed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Published: 2020-11-01

HCBS Modules for Person-Centered Organizations: Confirming Readiness (#3)

The team assesses how ready the staff and people supported are in working together to improve HCBS. Everyone is involved in improving outcomes for HCBS. For this reason, it is important to make …

Published: 8/27/2021

HCBS Modules for Person-Centered Organizations: Evaluating Person-Centered Practices Over Time (#7)

Providers are already expected to report on HCBS outcomes related to people receiving services. The goal of this module is to help teams consider what data are already being collected, brainstorm …

Published: 8/27/2021

Implementing aided augmentative communication systems with persons having complex communicative needs

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems can support communication skills for people with significant developmental disabilities who experience complex communication needs (CCNs). …

Published: 2019-06-25

Teaching Requesting to Individuals with Rett Syndrome Using Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC) Through Caregiver Coaching via Telehealth

Rett syndrome is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder that results in both motor and language skill regression with a wide range of severity in symptom presentation. Communication intervention may …

Published: 2023

HCBS Modules for Person-Centered Organizations: Overview of the Minnesota Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Modules for Person-Centered Organizations (#1)

This module provides an overview for improving person-centered outcomes in HCBS. Major terms are introduced and details about the training are described. The goal is not to teach how to master a …

Published: 8/27/2021

HCBS Modules for Person-Centered Organizations: Problem-Solving When Person-Centered Related Challenges Occur (#8)

Every provider experiences challenges while providing HCBS. These challenges make it harder to improve person-centered outcomes. This module explains how staff attrition, lack of resources, and …

Published: 8/27/2021

Supporting Aided Augmentative and Alternative Communication Interventions for Individuals With Complex Communication Needs via Telepractice: A Tutorial

People who experience complex communication needs often benefit from interventions involving augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). However, barriers often prevent people from accessing …

Published: 10/19/2021


  • Specific disability
    • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)