College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

Dr. Grace L. Francis
PhD, University of Kansas
Assistant Professor
Helen A. Kellar Institute for Human disAbilities
Sp Ed: Adapted Curriculum
Special Education

Contact Information

Send email to Dr. Francis

Phone: (703) 993-6064
Fax: (703) 993-3681
Email: gfranci4 (

George Mason University
Fairfax Campus
Finley Building 216
4400 University Dr.
MS 1F2
Fairfax, VA 22030

Research Interests

Disability, Family Support, Family-Professional Partnerships, Transition, Adulthood  

Recent Publications

Francis, G. L., Lavín, C. E., Sanchez, J., Reed, A. S., & Mason, L. H. (2020). Inclusive education definitions and practices: Exploring perspectivse of education professionals in Mexico City. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual DIsabilities. Early online release.

Francis, G. L., Reed, A. S., & Howard, M. E. (2020). Interactions with and between families and professional in college: Perspectives of young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Inclusion, 8(2), 163-179.

Lavín, C. E., Francis, G. L., Mason, L., & Lesueur, R. (2020). Inclusive education in Mexico City: An exploratory study. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education. Early online release:

 Francis, G. L., Gross, J. M. S., Lavín, C. E., Casarez, L., & Sheets, N. (2020). Facing double jeopardy: The transition experiences of Latina family caregivers of young adults with disabilities living in a rural community. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 39, 17-34.

Francis, G. L., Duke, J. M., Fujita, M., & Sutton, J. C. (2019). “It’s a constant fight:” Experiences of college students with disabilities. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 32(3), 247-261.

Kyzar, K., Mueller, T. G., Francis, G. L., & Haines, S. J. (2019). Special education teacher preparation for family-professional partnerships: Results from a national survey of teacher educators. Teacher Education and Special Education. Early online release doi: 10.1177/0888406419839123

Francis, G. L., & Chiu, C. (2019). The way to ultimate wisdom: An exploratory qualitative study on Taiwanese students with disabilities attending college. International Journal of Developmental Disabilities. Early online release: doi: 10.1080/20473869.2019.1576408

Francis, G. L., & Reed, A. S. (2019). Rethinking efforts to ground the helicopter parent: Parent experiences providing support to young adults with disabilities. Focus on Autism and Developmental Disabilities. Early online release: doi: 10.1177/1088357619827931

Francis, G. L., Regester, A., & Reed, A. S. (2019). Barriers and supports to parent involvement and collaboration during transition to adulthood. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, 42, 235-245. doi: 10.1177/2165143418813912

Francis, G. L., Stride, A., & Reed, A. S. (2018). Transition strategies and recommendations: Perspectives of parents of young adults with disabilities. British Journal of Special Education, 45, 277-301. doi: 10.1111/1467-8578.12232 

Francis, G. L., Gross, J. M. S., Magiera, L., Schmalzried, J., Monroe-Gulick, A., & Reed, S. (2018). Supporting students with disabilities, families, and professionals to collaborate during the transition to adulthood. International Review of Research in Developmental Disabilities, 54, 71-104. doi: 10.1016/bs.irrdd.2018.07.004

Haines, S. J., Francis, G. L., Kyzar, K. B., Aldersey, H. M., & Adams, N. B. (2018). Family-professional partnership with refugee families whose children have disabilities. International Review of Research in Developmental Disabilities, 54, 35-70. doi: 10.1016/bs.irrdd.2018.07.002

Francis, G. L., Gross, J. M. S., Lavín, C., Casarez, L., & Sheets, N. (2018). Hispanic caregiver’s experiences supporting positive post-school outcomes for young adults with disabilities. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 56, 337-353. doi: 10.1352/1934-9556-56.5.337

Francis, G. L., Duke, J. M., Brigham, F. J., & Demetro, K. (2018). Student perceptions of college-readiness, college services and supports, and family involvement in college: An exploratory study. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 48, 3573-3585. doi: 10.1007/s10803-018-3622-x

Francis, G. L., Gordon, S., Kliethermes, A. J., Regester, A., Baldini, D., & Grant, A. (2018). Developing and implementing a postsecondary education program for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities: Processes and procedures. The Teacher Educators’ Journal, 11, 134-156.

Gross, J. M. S., Choi, H., & Francis, G. L. (2018). Perceptions of Family Engagement and Support in SWIFT schools. Inclusion, 6, 60-74. doi: 10.1352/2326-6988-6.1.60

Francis, G. L., Stride, A., Reed, S., & Chiu, C. (2017). Family-professional partnerships in postsecondary education settings: Perceptions of professionals. Inclusion, 5(4), 263-278. doi: 10.1352/2326-6988-5.4.263

Francis, G.L., Haines, S. J., & Nagro, S. A. (2017). Developing relationships with immigrant families: Learning by asking the right questions. Teaching Exceptional Children. 50, 95-105. doi:10.1177/0040059917720778

Haines, S. J., Francis, G. L., Mueller, T. G., Chiu, C., Burke, M. M., Kyzar, K., …Turnbull, A. P. (2017). Reconceptualizing family-professional partnership for inclusive schools: A call to action. Inclusion, 5(4), 234-247. doi:10.1352/2326-6988-5.4.234

Francis, G. L., & Nagro, S. (2017). The educational system. In Nelson Goff, B.S & Springer, N.P. (eds.) Families and disabilities: A guide for helping professionals. (158-170). New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.

Haines, S. J., Francis, G. L., & Shepherd, K., Ziegler, M., & Mabika, G. (2017). Partnership bound: Using MAPS with transitioning students and families from all backgrounds. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, 1-5. Advanced online release: doi: 10.1177/2165143417698123

Francis, G. L. & McMullen, V. (2017, February). Addressing chronic pain: A five-step team approach. Exceptional Parent, 47(2), 41-44.