Dr. Allen is a product of Southern Connecticut State University. He received a Bachelor of Science in Economics in 1979, a Master of Science in Urban Studies in 1996, and a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership in 2008, all from the New Haven-based university.
His dissertation, Sexual Expression and Intellectual Disability in Connecticut: A Qualitative Description of Staff Practices, considered the important role of human service direct care staff when facilitating sexual expression and education for people with intellectual disabilities.
Dr. Allen currently teaches at Post as an Associate Faculty member in the Graduate Human Services Online program.
He also teaches English composition at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport and Middlesex Community College in Middletown.
Dr. Allen’s desire to teach is inextricably connected to a need to better understand the intricacies of the world. The process of learning compels us to share our knowledge, which is self-fulfilling. The more you learn, the more you want to share what is learned. The greatest joys Dr. Allen has had teaching have been those momentary opportunities to experience the academic successes in his students. All students deserve mentors that care about them and their successes.
Dr. Allen has devoted more than 20 years to supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and other challenges through a variety of programs. The focus of his work at three area human service agencies has included employment, residential, social, sexual diversity, and other quality-of-life issues. He continues to write and present frequently on the intersection of intellectual disability and sexual expression.
As a sabbatical experience in 2009, Dr. Allen joined Teach For America and taught sixth grade English for a year at an elementary school in Newark, New Jersey. This life-changing experience provided further sensitivity to the tremendous work required to offer educational equity throughout the country.
Dr. Allen is married and lives near Long Island Sound where he tries to swim daily between Memorial Day and Columbus Day off the small beach at the end of his street.
His passion is in chronicling Connecticut’s hidden gay history. His stories have appeared in Connecticut Magazine, the Hartford Courant, and the New Haven Register. He is currently researching Connecticut’s first execution for homosexuality when in 1646 a founding father of Guilford was hanged in the New Haven Colony.
Allen, J. D. (2003). Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people with developmental disabilities and mental retardation: Stories of the Rainbow Support Group. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press.
Allen, J. D. (2007). Supporting diversity in sexual relationships: On being GLBT with an intellectual disability. In L. Walker-Hirsch (Ed.), The facts of life…and more: Sexuality and intellectual disability. Baltimore: Brookes. (Korean translation, 2009)
Allen, J. D. (2011, May). Intellectual Disability and Sexual Expression. Developmental Disabilities Nurses Association Annual Education Conference, Hartford, CT.
Allen, J. D. & Thomas, M., (2009, May). Rainbow Support Group,
YAI 30th Annual Conference, New York, NY.
Allen, J. D., (2004, May). The I.Q. of Coming Out: Understanding Sexual Orientation and Developmental Disabilities. 36th Annual Conference, American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists, Chicago, IL.
Allen, J. D., (2000, October). Gay and Lesbian Issues for People with Mental Retardation. The Arc’s National Convention, Birmingham, AL.
Allen, J. D., (2000, August). Panelist for Emerging Issues: Sexuality and Relationships. Millennium Summit, President’s Committee on Mental Retardation, Washington, DC.
Dr. Allen is the founder and current board member of the New Haven Pride Center, which is the area’s first sexual minority community center. Since its founding in 1996, he has served continuously on the Board of Directors, in multiple terms as co-president, and in nearly every leadership position of the 501(c)(3) organization. He currently chairs the Education and Scholarship Committee.
Additionally, Dr. Allen is a co-facilitator of the unprecedented Rainbow Support Group for people with I/DD who are LGBTQ. Since its founding in 1998, the group has presented at national and regional conferences and trainings, and provides evidence that the understanding of sexual orientation and gender identity extends to people with I/DD.