University Consortium Member

Dr. Michael M. Behrmann

Dr. Michael M. Behrmann

George Mason University

Dr. Michael M. Behrmann is a local, state, and national leader/innovator in special education. He has devoted 35 years to improving services and personnel preparation in the field of special education  with his innovative work in teaching, research and service. He believes in collaborative research/training enhanced by technology. An early adopter of microcomputer technology, his pioneering pursuits are known worldwide. He wrote two of the first books on assistive and instructional technology. His over 80 publications and 250 presentations span nearly three decades. Since 1979 at George Mason University (GMU), he has secured over $40 million in external grants and contracts, $11 million in revenue-based projects, and $3.5 million in gifts for special education to the university. In 2007 he recieved the ARC lifetime achievment award. In 2008 he was awarded the Council for Exceptional Children’s (CEC) J. Wallace Wallin Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the Technology and Media Divison Leadership Award. In 2009 Dr.Behrmann was honored with the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching with Technology. In 2010 he was awarded the Outstanding Leadership by an Individual in the Field of Distance Learning by the United States Distance Learning Association.

Dr. Behrmann received his Ed.D. in Special Education from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1978. As part of his post doctoral activities, Dr. Behrmann was a participant in the Professional Leadership Program on assignment to the Governmental Relations Unit of the American Educational Research Association. In 1979, he came to George Mason University's Special Education Programs as Coordinator of the Graduate program in Severely Multi- Handicapped. He began his research with assistive technology in special education in 1981 and designed and implemented a masters degree program in Assistive/Special Education Technology in 1986, followed by a doctoral program in Assistive/Special Education Technology. In 1998 he implemented a 15 credit Assistive Technology Certificate Program. Dr. Behrmann was also a charter member for CEC's Technology and Media Division (TAM).

He is currently the Helen A. Kellar Professor of Special Education in the Graduate School of Education and the coordinator of the special education programs. He is the Director of the Helen A. Kellar Institute for Human disAbilities(KIHd), with over 90 funded faculty and staff of which over 15 percent of the full time employees have disabilities. Current professional activities include the directorship of a state funded training and technical assistance center (TTAC) for Superintendent's Region 4 of Virginia; a technical assistance project in the Department of Rehabilitation's Northern Region for the Virginia Assistive Technology System (VATS); two state grants to prepare teachers in the area of mild disabilities and severe disabilities. He is also continuing to develop the Kellar Instructional Handheld System, a browser based wireless data collection system for collecting and automatically charting frequency, duration, accuracy and fluency data by teachers for children with disabilities. He is also working on a state funded web based professional development site, to expand the capacity of VADOE's regional TTACS to online services.

Dr. Behrmann also has advanced collaborative intra-university and intra-agency projects across Virginia and that have reached thousands of professionals. He uniquely prepares teachers in severe disabilities and vision impairments. Through a state funded collaboration in distance education, advanced technology helps deliver a common curriculum to students at 6 state universities and at home. His cohort preparation project is carried out with local schools in DC and Northern Virginia. GMU faculty deliver masters/licensure courses in public school settings to teachers and instructional assistants. There are 22 cohorts serving some 500 students. With VDOE, he recently established the Accessible Instructional Materials –VA library {NIMAS} at GMU. This promotes universally designed instruction and insures that any qualified student in Virginia can have no-cost accessible media for learning.