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College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

Dr. Grace L. Francis
PhD, University of Kansas
Associate Professor
Helen A. Kellar Institute for Human disAbilities
Special Education
Special Education: Adapted Curriculum
Special Education: Severe Disabilities

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


Turnbull, A., Turnbull, R., Francis, G. L., Burke, M., Kyzar, K., Haines, S. J., Gershwin, T., Shepherd, K. G., Holdren, N., & Singer, G. (2022). Families and Professionals: Trusting Partnerships in General and Special Education (8th edition). Pearson.  

Selected Recent Publications 

Francis, G. L., Burke, M., Zhang, L., Carter, R. A., Li, C., & Turnbull, A. P. (2023). “Examining the reflection of family-professional partnerships in professional organization standards.” The Journal of Special Education

Strimel, M. M., Francis, G. L., & Duke, J. M. (2023). “Looking at the whole student:” Identities and the higher education accommodations process. Journal of College Student Development, 63(6), 695-699.

Raines, A., Francis, G. L., Macedonia, A., & Fugita, M. (2023). “Perspectives of belonging from people with disabilities: A scoping review.” Psychology in the Schools, 60, 2112-2127.

Lavín, C. E. & Francis, G. L. (2022). Looking in the shadows: Literature on undocumented Latinx students with disabilities. Journal of Latinos and Education.

Fujita, M., Francis, G. L., & Duke, J. M. (2022). “I’m not prepared:” Experiences of professionals working with students with disabilities and co-occurring mental health disorders. Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals, 26-44.

Francis, G. L., Raines, A. R., Reed, A. S., & Jerome Kinas, M. (2022). Parent-teacher interactions during COVID-19: Experiences of U.S. teachers of students with severe disabilities. Education Sciences, 12(488), 1-13. educsci12070488

Duke, J. M., Francis, G. L., & Fujita, M. (2022). Experiences of parents of young adults with disabilities and co-occurring mental health disorders. Inclusion, 10(2), 147-163.

Elcock, L., Strimel, M., & Francis, G. L. (2022). Challenging “divisive:” A case for culturally relevant pedagogy. Global Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 10(1), 1-3.

Francis, G. L., & Stanley, J. L. (2022). Preparing families for age of majority: Five considerations. Inclusive Practices. Early online release:

Reed, A. S., Francis, G. L., Kinas-Jerome, M. (2021). The American Rescue Plan Act funds and students with extensive support needs: Three considerations for technology access and use. Inclusive Practices. Early online release:

Francis, G. L., Duke, J. M., & Fujita, M. (2021). Experiences of college students with disabilities and mental health disorders: Informing college transition and retention. Psychology in the Schools, 59, 661-677.

Hong, J. Y., Choi, S., Francis, G. L., & Park, H. (2021). Stress among Korean immigrant parents of children with diagnosed needs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. School Community Journal, 31(2), 31-51.

Francis, G. L., Jansen-van Vuuren, J., Gaurav, N., Aldersey, H. M., Gabison, S., & Davison, A. M. (2021). Family-school collaboration for students with disabilities in Ontario, Canada.  Network for International Policies and Cooperation in Education and Training (NORRAG). 43-51.

Francis, G. L., Kilpatrick, A., Haines, S. J., Gershwin, T., Kyzar, K. B., & Hossain, I. (2021). Special education faculty decision-making regarding designing and delivering family-professional partnership content and skills in the U.S. Teaching and Teacher Education, 105, 1-10,

Francis, G. L., Duke, J. M., Fujita, M., Raines, A. (2021). Goal setting to support mental wellness among adolescents with disabilities and co-occurring mental health needs. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 53(5), 350-358.

Francis, G. L., Lavín, C. E., Sanchez, J., Reed, A. S., & Mason, L. H. (2021). Inclusive education definitions and practices: Exploring perspectives of education professionals in Mexico City. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 18(1), 58-68.

Gross, J., Francis, G., & Gage, S. (2021). Family Employment Awareness Training (FEAT): A research-based program for promoting high expectations for employment and knowledge resources. U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.

Howard, M., Reed, A. S., & Francis, G. L. (2021). “It’s my meeting!” Involving high school students with significant disabilities in the Individualized Education Program process. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 53(4), 290-298.

Francis, G. L., Duke, J. M. & Siko, L. (2020). Be Ready, Be Well: A conceptual framework for supporting well-being among college students with disabilities. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 33(2), 129-141. Retrieved from

Francis, G. L., Gershwin, T., Turnbull, H. R., Raines, A. (2020). Social role valorization of caregivers in school systems: The influence of terminology in federal education legislation. Special Educator e-Journal. Retrieved from

Francis, G. L., Reed, A. S., & Howard, M. E. (2020). Interactions with and between families and professionals 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.

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.

Rowe, D. A. & Francis, G. L. (2020). Reflective thinking: Considering the intersection of microcultures in IEP planning and implementation. TEACHING Exceptional. Children, 53(1), 4-6.

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