Key assistive technology group closes its doors


During its existence, the Tech in the Works Competition “has proven to be a successful collaboration between researchers and vendors that has resulted in significant, quick turnaround research related to the use of technology tools for students with special needs,” Gray wrote in her eMail.

Findings from those research efforts are posted online, and those interested in the competition might want to check out NCTI’s latest publication, “Assistive Technology Research Matters: A Research Primer,” a collaboration with ATIA.

In an interview with eSchool News, Gray said the American Institutes for Research, which houses NCTI, is committed to maintaining the Tech Matrix, a tool that helps users locate ed-tech products and assistive technologies for special-needs students. The free database contains 300 reviewed technology products relating to reading, writing, math, science, and assistive technology.

Database users can access “Ask the Tech Expert” questions and answers and can search by different criteria to locate appropriate resources for their students.

NCTI’s annual conference was unique, Gray said, because it served as a crossroads where special-education groups, assistive technology groups, researchers, and educational technology advocates were able to come together and combine their efforts and knowledge.

“The event was small, but so representative of the key types of people in the field,” Gray said.

NCTI staffers might reach out to foundations for funding assistance in the near future.

“We have been very fortunate to be able to provide valuable information to the field. OSEP and OSEP project officer Dave Malouf have been very supportive throughout the years,” Gray said, acknowledging that the move is “emblematic of the cost-cutting times—we feel OSEP has been enormously supportive and engaged with this project.”

Laura Ascione

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