Kellar Institute for Human DisAbilities (KIHd) - College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University
About Us

The Kellar Institute for Human DisAbilities (KIHd) is an interdisciplinary campus-based organization focusing on improving the lives and productivity of children and adults with disabilities. KIHd combines the resources of the university with local, state, regional, national, public, and private sector agencies and organizations to develop products, services, and programs for persons with disabilities.

Strands for Day 1:

Fiscal Resources for Post-Secondary Students with Intellectual Disabilities (ID)

  • Financial aide
  • Program approval process
  • Student financial aid (FAFSA)
  • Private funding
  • Endowments
  • Resource Mapping

Leadership and Sustainability

  • Promotion of change within a university
  • Aligning with infrastructure and other systems at the college or university: for example, working with the registrar's office, admissions, student life, University administration leadership
  • Students and program included in all aspects of the IHE
  • Services obtained at university, from program staff, disability services office, etc.
  • Long term- sustainability: how to sustain funding

Promoting Systemic Change

  • Building state-wide coalitions including state agencies, advocacy organizations, higher education, and the business community to promote postsecondary education (PSE) for students with ID
  • Developing state policy and legislation to provide support and funding
  • Developing Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) among agencies such as schools, IHE, vocational rehabilitation, ID/DD and workforce agencies, etc.
  • Successful state-wide efforts to develop multiple programs within a state to grow PSE for students with ID
  • Positive change for students with ID within a state-wide system of IHEs that involves multiple campuses or community colleges
  • Systems change at the regional level involving multiple states

Program Development and Evaluation

  • Key components of program development
  • Person-centered planning
  • Recruitment
  • Capacity building
  • Credentialing
  • Establishing standards of quality
  • Evaluation

Transition to College

  • Preparation in K-12 for PSE
  • Preparing in middle and high school to go to college
  • Access to the general curriculum and universal design for learning
  • Individualized supports to access curriculum, participate in employment training, work experiences, internships, etc.
  • Collaboration of secondary education and vocational rehabilitation
  • Professional development for general and special education staff, school counselors, administrators, etc.
  • Focusing on secondary education academics
  • Person-centered-planning, self-advocacy and self-determination
  • Service learning

Strands for Day 2:


  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Participatory research involving IHE faculty, program staff, students and family members
  • Determining needed data
  • Evaluation methods
  • Outcome measurements
  • Establishing standards of quality
  • Definitions and classifications


  • Individualized instruction
  • Effective inclusion strategies
  • Universal design for learning
  • Use of technology
  • STEM
  • Language and literacy
  • Educational coaches and peer mentors
  • Media and academics
  • Alternative ways of learning/conversations/expressions and strategies to improve written and oral communication
  • Impact on faculty development and teacher education which may focus on experiences of licensure, internship, mentors, and volunteer activities


  • Strategies and support for social inclusion
  • Peer mentors
  • Sports and recreation
  • Using technology/ social networking
  • Improving communication skills
  • Friendships & lasting relationships
  • Understanding social cues
  • Environment in Higher Ed to support/promote/offer strategies
  • College life with a focus on campus community

Independent Living

  • Transition/ways to prepare to live as independently as possible, including mastering activities of daily living
  • Technology to support independence
  • Support methods
  • Effective inclusion strategies
  • Independent living on and off campus
  • Housing
  • Person-centered-planning
  • Transportation access and travel training


  • Opportunities available
  • Ways to facilitate transition to employment based on person-centered planning
  • Ongoing employment supports
  • Transition from college to work
  • Service learning
  • Sustainability of employment
  • Developing portfolios and resumes
  • Career planning
  • Job search/job development, including using technology
  • Collaboration with college career services
  • Collaboration with employment service agencies and other adult agencies
  • Building a relationship with the business community