What is IHAT?

The Irene Howell Assistive Technology Center (IHAT) is a dual purpose computer lab whose primary function is to teach others about assistive technology.

What is assistive technology?

According to the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, it is “any product, device or equipment … used to maintain, increase or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities”.

Put simply, these products enhance the independence of people with disabilities in daily living activities, communication and learning. Assistive devices can help improve physical or mental functioning, prevent the worsening of a condition, strengthen a weakness, or improve a person’s capacity to learn.

Our primary mission is to prepare professionals at the university level to serve individuals in need of assistive technology services and devices.

We currently serve ECU students throughout and beyond the College of Education. These pre-service and in-service professionals receive interactive, hands-on training on assistive technology devices and applications. In addition, we work in partnerships to serve students from the ECU campus in need of assistive technologies themselves – especially those with learning disabilities from the STEPP Program and Disability Support Services.

In addition to our primary mission, we aim to develop and maintain partnerships with both private and public entities in order to support research projects. Please visit the Research page for information.

Interactive Exhibit Areas

The IHAT Center contains four interactive exhibit areas dedicated to self-study professional development. Each of the exhibit areas provides opportunities for users to interact with and/or create educational materials using some type of assistive technology. We also display bulletin boards that model practical use of assistive technology in the classroom.