The U.S. Department of Education announced today the award of a $1.4 million grant to Family Health International (FHI) in Washington, D.C., to establish a Center on Technology and Disability.
The center is a collaborative effort among FHI, American Institutes for Research, and PACER Center. The center will increase the capacity of families, schools, and providers to obtain and help children with disabilities use assistive and instructional technology to improve learning. The use of assistive and instructional technology enables children with disabilities to participate fully in daily routines in their natural environments; have increased access to the general education curriculum; improve their functional outcomes and educational results; and meet college- and career-ready standards.
"Enhancing the infrastructure and increasing the capacity for our schools and providers to help all students become college and career-ready is an important part of our education agenda," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "This center will provide information and technical assistance to many audiences, including providers and families, to help them implement effective programs aimed at serving children with disabilities."
The grant was made under the Technology and Media Services for Individuals with Disabilities program, a primary source of support for accessible technology and media-related activities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Technology activities promote the development, demonstration, and use of technology, including technology with universal design features. It includes activities such as research on using technology to improve learning and provide access to curricula, and technical assistance and dissemination activities to states, local schools, providers, and families to enhance the use of technology by children with disabilities. Media services include closed captioning, video description, the provision of books and other written materials in accessible formats.
The Technology and Media Services program is administered by the Education Department's Office of Special Education Programs, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.