Kiley McLean

Credentials: PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, May, 2023; MSW, Columbia University, 2018; MS, Bank Street College of Education, 2016; BA, College of the Holy Cross, 2014

Position title: Project Assistant


Waisman Center Office 292

Curriculum Vitae
Kiley McLean
Kiley McLean
Kiley McLean
Kiley McLean in front of green leaves

Interests: Autism; intellectual and developmental disabilities; I/DD policy; Medicaid; HCBS


Kiley McLean is a Research Assistant at the Waisman Center and current Social Welfare PhD student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a minor in Clinical Investigation from the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. Kiley has also completed two years of the Wisconsin Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program and is a member of the Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD) Leadership Academy. She works in the Aging and Health Equity in Autism and Developmental Disabilities (AHEADD) Lab under the direction of Dr. Lauren Bishop. Their team uses a combination of linked administrative data, prospectively collected data, and qualitative data to characterize disparities in and develop strategies to improve health and wellbeing in partnership with autistic adults and adults with other developmental disabilities. Kiley’s research focuses broadly on improving the social and economic well-being of adults with developmental disabilities as they transition into adulthood and age, through inclusive and comprehensive anti-poverty policies.

Kiley received her master’s in social work and special education from Columbia University and Bank Street College of Education in New York. She has over 15 years of experience working with individuals with disabilities in positions including direct support professional, case planner, special educator, Special Olympics coach, and disability advocacy fellow. Kiley serves as the independent instructor for advanced level master’s seminars in Social Policy, Macro-Practice Social Work, and Issues in Developmental Disabilities. The Issues in Developmental Disabilities course is one of the few offered in schools of social work throughout the country. These courses support students in analyzing current social welfare policies and systems and the differential impact they have on vulnerable communities, including those with disabilities. Through universal design and inclusive pedagogy practices, she introduces students to different ways in which they can be involved in the policymaking process and advocate for policies that directly impact communities they intend to serve. The ultimate goals of Kiley’s research, practice, and teaching are to advance human rights and social and economic justice for, and with, people with developmental disabilities.