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Technologies for Access and Barrier-Free Environments

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Molly Peabody

on 17 May 2014

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Transcript of Technologies for Access and Barrier-Free Environments

& Beyond!
Barrier-Free Learning: From Hammer to High Tech
Rackham School of Special Education
Professor Charles Elliot,
of Michigan State Normal College, appealed to the Rackham Fund and gained support through his enthusiasm and research to build an "adequate, modern building" for the Department.

Sponsored by the Rackham Fund:
established for “benevolent, charitable, educational, scientific, religious and public purposes,” that would “promote the health, welfare, happiness, education, training and development of men, women and children, particularly the sick, aged, young, erring, poor, crippled, helpless, handicapped, unfortunate and underprivileged, regardless of race, color, religion or station.” (Isbell, E.R., 1971, pg. 104)

*Only teacher-training institution in the state and only school of its kind to address the needs and training related to the education of "handicapped" children*

Opened for use Fall of 1939, dedicated June 27, 1940
Summer Institutes

“During our summer courses (
starting in the 1940's
), not only did we have people from all over the world as (college) students, but we had people from all over the United States, at least, to lecture or teach for several weeks”, Roser said. “We’ve had many new innovations through what these noted people brought to the department,” she said. “We were not the originators, but we were interested enough to try it and see how it would work.”

-Gertrude Roser
(Special education professor 1926-1961)
Technologies for Access & Barrier-Free Environments
The Development of Special Education Programs
The Development of Special Education Programs
Disability Empowerment & Advocacy League (DEAL)
EMU Partners with Mott Family Network (MFN)
Mott Family Network (MFN) is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization funded by the Mott Golf Classic that provides assistive technology to the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and its patients. The devices and products that MFN provides help patients, families, therapists, and physicians utilize the latest and most innovative technology.
*All entrances at ground level to maximize access to classrooms (made possible by slope of the ground)

*Automatic elevators
Education for All!
Classrooms for:
* adult deaf * oral deaf * mentally handicapped children * *crippled children * children with impaired vision *
and even student teachers too!
Home is where the heart is, and where school is too!
“Housing these handicapped children on the campus serves a double purpose. It supplements the day school enrollment, thereby insuring a satisfactory number of children in the training classes; and, it makes possible the extension of service to some children from areas remote from those centers where adequate care and training are now available.” (Elliott, C. M., October, 1940, pg. 191)
Dormitory provided care for up to 24 resident children who were in need of special care, but lived too far too commute
Additional Services!
Therapy Adaptive Art

Evaluations Life Skill Training

Pioneer technologies included first electronic speech program.
Collapsible Wheelchair

Invented: 1932, purchased at Rackham in 1943
School Bus with a Fold-Out Ramp
Late 1940's
Group Hearing Aid (1951)
Device allowing teachers to communicate with students with hearing impairment
Adaptable with records (music, fairy tales, stories and other instructional info)
Adjustable to unique needs
New Audiological Evaluation Equipment
Purchased in 1959 through Rotary Clubs' "Carnations for Crippled Children"
Evaluated not only child's hearing loss, but amount of hearing left!
TV System for Videotaped Intervention
Electric Magnifier for Students with Visual Impairments
1972: TV camera was equipped with zoom lens over print and projected an enlarged image of the page on the television screen
Select-Ed System
Lending system designed to assist in selection & prescription of teaching aids & strategies
Only computerized system of its kind!
Directed by Dr.Lawrence Bernish
Ran from 1973-1979
Used by roughly 80 school districts & educational institutions
Optacon (Optical-to-Tactile Converter)
Converted a printed letter into a tactile image
In 1978, Prof.Wawraszek one of few selected by U.S. Office of Education to be trained and to train others!

*Intensive practice required*

Teletypewriter/Telecommunication Device for the Deaf
Dr. Garber & Dr. Quinn served as consultants to Bell Telephone Company

Helped develop program to better serve those with hearing impairments access the telephone
Computers Begin to Change Communication
Alice Fell:
Communications specialist at the Rackham School

21-year old nonverbal student with Cerebral Palsy


via voice synthesizer
+ computer + keyboard

Center for Adaptive Technology Education (CATE lab)
Specialized Technology Lab (STL)
Providing assistive technology services to EMU students, staff & faculty since 1988
Est. 1999 to meet professional training needs of EMU undergraduate & graduate students

Included latest instructional tools (SmartBoard), computers, & specialty software
Accessibility & Advocacy
New Departmental Classes:
In 1988, the Department "acknowledges the critical promise that technology would bring to individuals with disabilities"
New technology courses were developed, headed by Dr. Rocklage & Dr. Wisniewski
Ultimately resulted in SPGN 481, "Instructional & Assistive Technology in Special Education", first taught in 2003
"By 1994, the use of adaptive and assistive technologies as an intervention approach for K-12 students with disabilities became integrated within several methods courses in the Department"
1991 SVI469
Electronic Communication
for the visually impaired
2004 VI Majors
Michigan Braille Transcribing Fund (MBTF)
$2,000 for various technologies for the visually impaired
2014 CI & SLP Majors
iPads used for instructional purposes
Augmentative and alternative communication
Integration of Technology Into Teaching:
Classes go hybrid!

Dr. Li leading the way
with 3 VI courses online
Full transcript