BiographyDr. Kelly R. Kelley received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Since 2010, she has served as the University Participant (UP) Program Co-Founder, Coordinator, Consultant, Co-Director, and now Director. She is also an Associate Professor at Western Carolina University in Inclusive/Special Education. She has also directed the NCCDD Learning and Earning Grant Project and now a federal personnel preparation grant working with several NC school districts. Dr. Kelley has published 33 book chapters and articles. She has presented at more than 160 international, national, and state conferences. Her research interests include secondary transition related to assistive technology, independent living, and inclusive postsecondary opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Dr. Kelley also enjoys providing technical assistance and consulting to other programs through Think College.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
secondary transition, assistive technology, independent living, and inclusive postsecondary opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities
Spending time with my wonderful husband and dog named Rosco, hiking, swimming, running, and enjoying the outdoors.
Published: Jun 17, 2019 by Inclusion
Authors: Seb M. Prohn, Kelly R. Kelley, and David L. Westling
This study used 3 peer-support focus groups (n = 15) to capture the observed social experiences of PSE students living and learning in a college community. The supports identified 4 foundational elements that determined whether students were more likely to be socially included or excluded.
Published: Sep 10, 2018 by Journal of Inclusive Postsecondary Education
Authors: Kelley, K. R., & Prohn, S. M
A survey was administered to assess overall expectations of administrators, teachers, families, and students with intellectual disabilities (ID). Survey questions assessed expectations regarding paid jobs after school, wages, obtaining a regular high school diploma, getting a driver’s license, living away from home, and attending postsecondary education. Major findings indicated student expectations were higher than family expectations especially in postsecondary education.
Published: Jul 24, 2017 by Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Authors: Prohn, S. M., Kelley, K. R., & Westling, D. L.
In this study we conducted an initial investigation to monitor changes in independence during a one year period for six students with intellectual disability (ID) participating in an inclusive postsecondary education program. Initial results, in the form of descriptive statistics, show evidence that students, living on a college campus and participating in a PSE program, learn to function in ways that reduce the needs for support without limiting participation in inclusive activities.
Published: Nov 11, 2013 by Exceptional Children
Authors: Kelly R. Kelley, David W. Test, Nancy L. Cooke
Transportation access is a major contributor to independence, productivity, and societal inclusion for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities (IDD). This study examined the effects of pedestrian navigation training using picture prompts displayed through a video iPod on travel route completion with 4 adults and IDD. Results indicated a functional relation between picture prompts on the video IPod and pedestrian navigation skills to and from various locations.
College Students’ Attitudes about an Inclusive Postsecondary Education Program for Individuals with Intellectual Disability
Published: Sep 29, 2013 by Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities
Authors: David L. Westling, Kelly R. Kelley, Brittany Cain, and Seb Prohn
A survey was administered to assess attitudes of students living on a college campus that offered an inclusive postsecondary education program for individuals with intellectual disability. Responses were received from 572 students. Major findings indicated a large majority felt the program was beneficial to the participants and to typical college students.
Published: Jul 29, 2019
Students at Western Carolina University describe their experiences working with the University Participant (UP) Program.