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Dr. Michael M. Behrmann
EdD, Columbia University
Professor Emeritus of Special Education

Contact Information

Send email to Dr. Behrmann

Phone: (703) 993-3670
Fax: (703) 993-3681
Email: mbehrman (

George Mason University
Fairfax Campus
Finley Building 208C
4400 University Dr.
MS 1F2
Fairfax, VA 22030


Dr. Michael M. Behrmann is a local, state, and national leader/innovator in special education. He has devoted over 40 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 nearly $80 million in external grants and contracts, $30 million in revenue-based projects, and $4.5 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 Childrens (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 Universitys 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 CECs Technology and Media Division (TAM).

He is currently Profesor Emeritus and was the Helen A. Kellar Professor of Special Education in the Graduate School of Education and the Director of the Helen A. Kellar Institute for Human disAbilities (KIHd) since 1999. The institute has over 90 funded faculty and staff of which over 15 percent of the full time employees have disabilities. Professional activities included the directorship of a state funded training and technical assistance center (TTAC) for Superintendents Region 4 of Virginia; a state grant to prepare teachers in the area of vision impairment. He was the PI on the Virginia Accessible Instructional Materials program which provides free accessible materials (electronic, print, braille, etc) to students in Virgina who have a print disabilitiy. He is continuing to develop the Kellar Instructional Handheld System, a data collection system for collecting and automatically charting frequency, duration, accuracy and fluency data by teachers for children with disabilities. He is led the development of state funded web based professional development sites, and The Virginia Family Special Education Connection ( to expand the capacity of VADOEs parent and professional projects to online services.

Through his career, Dr. Behrmann also advanced collaborative intra-university and intra-agency projects across Virginia that have reached thousands of professionals. He led the development of programs that uniquely prepares teachers and other professionals in ABA, mild disabilities, severe disabilities and vision impairments. Through state funded collaboration in distance education, advanced technology helped deliver a common curriculum to students at 7 state universities and at home. 

Research Interests
  • Assistive technology
  • Instructional design
  • Universal Design for Learning
  • Inclusion
  • Distance Education
Recent Publications
  • Evmenova, A. S., Graff, H. J., & Behrmann, M.M. (in press). Providing access to academic content for high-school students with intellectual disability through interactive videos. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities.
  • Evmenova, A.S., & Behrmann, M.M, (2014). Enabling access and enhancing comprehension of video content for postsecondary students with intellectual disabilities. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 49, 45-59.
  • Evmenova, A.S., & Behrmann, M.M. (2012). Communication technology integration in content areas for students with high-incidence disabilities; A case study of one school system. In J.E. Aitken, J.P. Fairley, & J.K. Carlson (Eds.), Communication technology for students in special education or gifted programs (pp, 168-195). Hershey, PA; IGI Global.
  • Jerome, M. K., Neuber, K., Stegall, B., Evmenova, A., & Behrmann, M. (2008). Technology for integration of students with disabilities in higher education. In S. Helal, M. Mokhtari, & B. Abdulravak (Eds.), Technology for aging, disability, and independence: Computer and engineering for design and applications. Indianapolis, IN: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Behrmann, M.M., & Chung, Y., Bannan, B., Thorp. Y. (2012). Perspectives of high tech augmentative and alternative communication users with cerebral palsy at the post-secondary level. Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 21 (2), 30-71.
  • Evmenova, A. S., & Behrmann, M. M. (2011).  Research-based strategies for teaching content to students with intellectual disabilities: Adapted videos. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 46 (3), 315-325.
  • Evmenova, A. S., Behrmann, M. M., Mastropieri, M. A., Baker, P., & Graff, H. J. (2011).  The effects of video adaptations on comprehension of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Journal of Special Education Technology, 26(2), p. 39-54.
  • Evmenova, A. S., Graff, H. J., Jerome, M. K., & Behrmann, M. M. (2010). Word prediction programs with phonetic spelling support: Performance comparisons and impact on journal writing for students with writing difficulties. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice Journal, 25, 170-182.
  • Behrmann, M. (2009, Spring). Guest Editorial. Physical Disabilities: Education and Related Services Journal, 27 (2).
  • Quinn, B., Behrmann, M., Bausch, M., Chung, Y., Mastropieri, M., Ault, M. (2009). Who is Using Assistive Technology in Schools? Journal of Special Education Technology, 24 (1).
  • Bausch, M. ,Stegall, B., Chung, Y., Ault, M., Behrmann, M. (2009). Assistive Technology in the Individualized Education Plan: Analysis of Policies Across Ten States. Journal of Special Education Leadership, 22.
  • Norton, P. Williams van Rooij, S., Kinas Jerome, M., Clark, K., Behrmann, M., & Bannan-Ritland, B. (2009). Linking Theory and Practice Through Design: An Instructional Technology Program. Educational Media and Technology Yearbook, 34.
  • Bausch, M. E., Evmenova, A., Behrmann, M., & Ault M. J. (2008).Going beyond assistive technology devices: Are assistive technology services being considered? Journal of Special Education Technology, 23 (2).
  • Jeffs, T.,  Behrmann, M.,  & Bannan-Ritland-B. (2006, Winter) Assistive technology and literacy difficulties: Reflections of parents and children. Journal of Special Education Technology, 21(1).
  • Schaff, J.I., Jerome, M.K., Behrmann, M.M.,& Sprague, D. (2005). Science in special education: Emerging Technologies. In D. Edyburn, K. Higgins, & R. Boone (Eds.). Handbook of special education technology research and practice (pp. 643-661). Whitefish Bay, WI: Knowledge by Design.
  • Schaff, J., Ok, S., Bannan-Ritland, B., & Behrmann, M. (2005). Electronic Performance Support Systems. In D. Edyburn, K. Higgins, & R. Boone (Eds.). Handbook of special education technology research and practice (pp. 493-506). Whitefish Bay, WI: Knowledge by Design.
  • Wang, S. (with Behrmann, M.). (2003, August). A Dynamic Visual Search Engine for Database-Driven Web Contents. Proceedings of the 7th IASTED International Conference.
  • Behrmann, M., Schaff, J. (2001). Assisting Educators with Assistive Technology: Enabling Children to Achieve Independence in Learning and Living. Children and Families, Summer 2001.
  • Sprague, D., Behrmann, M. (2001). Zoning in on Physics: Creating Virtual Reality Environments to Aid Students with Learning Disabilities. In Scruggs, T.E., Mastropieri, M.A. (Eds.), Advances in learning and behavioral disabilities (vol. 15). Stamford, CT: JAI.
  • Castellani, J., Behrmann, M. (2001). An Exploration of Systems Thinking, Teacher Choice, and Requirements for Implementing Technology into Classrooms for Students with Emotional and Learning Disabilities. In Scruggs, T.E., Mastropieri, M.A. (Eds.), Advances in learning and behavioral disabilities (vol. 15). Stamford, CT: JAI.
  • Behrmann, M., Goor, M., Bannan-Ritland, B. (2000). Electronic Portfolios as a Precursor to Electronic Dissertations, The 3rd Annual Symposium on Electronic Theses and Disssertations: Applying New Media to Scholarship, St. Petersburg, FL.
  • Bannan-Ritland, B., Egerton, E., Page, J., & Behrmann, M. (2000, July). Literacy explorer: A performance support tool for novice reading facilitators. Performance Improvement, 39 (4), 47-54.
  • Behrmann, M., Castellani, J., Jeffs, T., Takemoto, C. (2000) Literacy Access Online: An exploration of technology use among literacy facilitators and middle school children with disabilities, The 9th Symposium on Literacy and Disabilities, Cary, NC
  • Behrmann, M. (1998). Assistive technology for young children in special education. In Chris Dede (Ed.), Learning with Technology (pp. 73-93). The association for supervision and curriculum development.
  • Schepis, M., Reid, D., Behrmann, M., & Sutton, K. (1998, Winter). Increasing communicative interactions of young children with autism using a voice output communication aid and naturalistic teaching. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 31 (4), 561-578.
  • Garrett, J., Thorp, E., Behrmann, M., & Denham, S. (1998, Fall). The impact of early intervention legislation: Local perceptions. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 18 (3), 183-190.

Dr. Behrmanns publishing activities include authoring or editing several books, and numerous articles in professional journals, as well as presentations made at a variety of international, national, state and local conferences.

  • Edited, (1984). Handbook of microcomputers in special education, by College Hill Press
  • Edited, (1988). Integrating computers into the curriculum: A handbook for special educators, by College Hill Press
  • Author, (1994). Assistive technology and students with mild disabilities. In Intervention in School and Clinic.
  • Author ( with M. Schepis), (1994). Assistive technology assessment: A multiple case study review of three approaches with students with physical disabilities during the transition from school to work. In Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation.
  • Author, (1989). Technology and employment: The need for trained professional personnel.
  • Author of book chapter, (1995). Personnel training. In Assistive Technology: The Future is Now.
  • Author of book chapter, written with L. Lahm, (1994). Technology applications in early childhood education. In Young Children in the Technological Age.
  • Author of a book chapter, (1998). Assistive technology for young children in special education. In Chris Dede (Ed.), Learning with Technology (pp. 73 - 93). Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
  • Author of a book chapter, (1995). Assistive technology training. In Karen Flippo, Katherine Ingle, & J. Michael Barcus (Eds.), Assistive technology: A resource for school, work, and community (pp. 211 - 222). Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company.
  • Wallace, J., Flippo, K., Barcus, M., & Behrmann, M. (1995). Legislative foundation of assistive technology policy in the United States.
  • Author of a book chapter, (1995). In Karen Flippo, Katherine Ingle, & J. Michael Barcus (Eds.), Assistive Technology: A resource for school, work, and community (pp. 3 - 21). Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company.
Other Information

Favorite Links

  • Learn about our exciting Special Education Programs:
  • Learn about our Adaptive Video Captioning System:
  • Learn about the KIHd System data collection prototype Steppingstones web site:
  • Learn about TTAC Online at
  • Learn about the Virginia Family Special Education Connection:
  • Learn about AIM VA at htttp://
  • Learn about the Helen A. Kellar Institute for Human disAbilities and web resources available in special education and technology:
Campus Affiliations

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