The Irene Howell Assistive Technology (IHAT) Center presented on assistive technology at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) New Special Education Directors Institute on April 9, 2014 in New Bern, NC.
Led by the Director of the IHAT Center, Dr. Laura King, undergraduate student members of the IHAT staff, including Ayla Allen, André Anglin, Bridget Corrigan, Sara Farwell, Rob Hicks, Chloe Morgan, and Murphy Newton, presented to 40 new Special Education Directors through engaging and interactive breakout sessions, allowing the new directors to learn about a variety of AT hardware and software, as well as implementation strategies through a universal design for learning approach.
The format and venue allowed the IHAT Center to share snapshot views of the professional development sessions currently offered to all ECU students and is moving towards offering the sessions for continuing education credits for teachers currently in the field.
“The growth of the professional development sessions in the two years they have been offered has been amazing to see. It has become something with momentum of its own, causing us to strive to keep up— what a wonderful challenge to have,” said King.
The feedback from the state presentation shared by Cynthia Debreaux, NCDPI EC Consultant for Regions 1 & 2, was overwhelmingly positive. The participants in the session shared that they enjoyed learning new information and technologies in the AT field, and they were particularly impressed by the professionalism and level of engagement that the undergraduate students demonstrated. King shared that one participant commented that “having future teachers present was powerful!”
For more information about the IHAT Center, please contact the center at firstname.lastname@example.org.