Edward Kastern

Credentials: Co-Researcher

Edward wearing red polo and medal in front of red Special Olympics Wisconsin background

Edward Kastern is currently a co-researcher with the Ausderau Lab on the “Implications of COVID-19 on Service Delivery, Health, and Well-Being for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD)” project. This project is working to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted services, health, and wellbeing for people with IDD in Wisconsin. Edward has previously been involved with the Ausderau Lab on past research projects including the “Research Engagement with People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities ” project funded through the PCORI Eugene Washington Engagement Award #10029. Edward completed the READI (Research Engagement and Advocacy for Diverse Individuals) curriculum with the research team and provided feedback. He also was a member of the Opening the Door working group for the subsequent Virtual Health Research Summit which helped to identify tools and resources for inclusion of adults with IDD in research. He is also a co-author with the Ausderau Lab on two different peer-reviewed manuscripts. 


Edward is also a Special Olympics Wisconsin athlete competing in several different sports, including basketball, track and field, gymnastics, bocce, and powerlifting. Edward is a Health Messenger for Special Olympics Wisconsin where he helps to facilitate trainings for athletes, checks in with other athletes about their healthy living goals, and acts as liaison between athletes and SOWI administration. Edward also hosts his own talk show called “Making it Happen” where he interviews changemakers in the community and shows how they are improving their lives and the lives of those around them. 


In his own words, “I like to be a part of research because you’re constantly thinking outside the box, thinking of new ideas for people with disabilities to live better lives for themselves. I’m passionate about being an advocate for people with disabilities so I can help make their lives easier and give them the tools they need to sustain a healthy and successful life.” 


To check out Edward’s talk show, “Making it Happen”, click here.

Doerpinghaus, A., Hladik, L., Satterlund, E., Bentley, C., Kastern, E., St. John, B., & Ausderau, K. K.(2022). Collaborative health advocacy for health promotion for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. SIS Quarterly Practice Connections, 7(1), 15–17.


St John, B. M., Hickey, E., Kastern, E., Russell, C., Russell, T., Mathy, A., Peterson, B., Wigington, D., Pellien, C., Caudill, A., Hladik, L., & Ausderau, K. K. (2022). Opening the door to university health research: recommendations for increasing accessibility for individuals with intellectual disability. International journal for equity in health, 21(1), 130. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-022-01730-4