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:


Under the strand, to include but not limited to:

  • Individualized instruction
  • Effective inclusion strategies
  • Universal design for learning
  • Use of technology
  • Language and literacy
  • Educational coaches and peer mentors
  • Media and academics
  • Impact on faculty development and teacher education which may focus on experiences of licensure, internship, mentors, and volunteer activities
  • Person-centered planning

Recreation and Social

Under the strand, to include but not limited to:

  • Strategies and support for social and independent living inclusion
  • Peer mentors and social networking
  • Sports and recreation
  • Improving social and communication skills
  • Friendships and lasting relationships
  • Self-advocacy/self-disclosure/disability identity

Independent Living

Under the strand, to include but not limited to:

  • Strategies and support for independent living inclusion
  • Promoting self-determination and student involvement
  • Transition/ways to prepare to live as independently as possible, including mastering activities of daily living
  • Support methods, such as technology
  • Transportation access and travel training
  • Time-management
  • Self-help skills
  • Daily living/self-regulation
  • Mental health (including self-determination and self-regulation)


Under the strand, to include but not limited to:

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

Strands for Day 2:

Promoting Policy and Systemic Change

Under the strand, to include but not limited to:

  • Building state-wide and national coalitions including state agencies, advocacy organizations, higher education, and the business community to promote postsecondary education (PSE) for students with ID
  • Developing federal and 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 efforts to develop multiple programs 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, and the role of national associations/organizations
  • Systems change as relates to funding
  • Promotion of change within a university or college
  • Affecting positive attitude change at every level

Program Development and Evaluation

Under the strand, to include but not limited to:

  • Key components of program development (and evaluation)
  • Funding for students and programs
  • Person-centered planning
  • Recruitment
  • Capacity building
  • Strategies for initiating and expanding high quality inclusive programs
  • Credentialing & model accreditation standards
  • Residential and housing options

Transition to College

Under the strand, to include but not limited to:

  • 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
  • Promoting self-determination and student involvement
  • Family support/family involvement
  • Student financial aid (FAFSA)

Research and Evaluation

Under the strand, to include but not limited to:

  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Participatory research involving IHE faculty, program staff, students and family members
  • Determining needed data
  • Evaluation methods and results
  • Student progress and outcome measurements
  • Establishing standards of quality
  • Definitions and classifications
  • Changes across the institution (institutional, administrative or organizational processes) as a result of the PSE program
  • Descriptions and empirical evidence related to changes for students without disabilities and/or faculty (attitudes, awareness, skill, and pedagogy)
  • Changes in relationships with community organizations, human services, and businesses

Strand to span both days:

Family and Community Support/Student Participation

Under the strand, to include but not limited to:

  • Continuous family support prior, during, and post-higher education
  • Natural support through neighbors, friends, paid services, agencies, peer companions
  • Professional/parent relationship
  • Model of community service
  • Aging population/Guardianship
  • Parent readiness
  • Proposals to engage and educate attending self-advocates in:
    • Technology
    • Social skill-building
    • Student networking
    • Team building exercises