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 nearly $70 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 received the ARC lifetime achievement 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 Division 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 CECs Technology and Media Division (TAM).
He is currently 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). The institute has 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 Superintendents Region 4 of Virginia; a state grant to prepare teachers in the area of vision impairment. He is 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 disability. He is also 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 also working on state funded web based professional development sites, TTACOnline.org and The Virginia Family Special Education Connection (http://vafamilysped.org) to expand the capacity of VADOEs parent and professional projects to online services.
Dr. Behrmann also has advanced collaborative intra-university and intra-agency projects across Virginia that have reached thousands of professionals. He developed 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 helps deliver a common curriculum to students at 7 state universities and at home.