Key assistive technology group closes its doors

NCTI helped researchers and educators develop assistive technology solutions for students.

After 10 years in the assistive technology and educational technology fields, the National Center for Technology Innovation (NCTI) closed operations with the end of its federal funding on Sept. 30.

NCTI served as a resource for special-education advocates, researchers, and ed-tech stakeholders. The organization helped bring together those different groups to create innovative assistive technologies and learning resources for students, especially those with special needs.

NCTI has received a no-cost extension through Dec. 31, after which time the grant that funds the center will expire. Officially, the center’s grant from the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) expired Sept. 30, but the no-cost extension lets NCTI staff make upgrades to the organization’s Tech Matrix and close out any current work.

In a Sept. 7 eMail message, NCTI Director Tracy Gray informed NCTI supporters of the cease in funding.

“We greatly appreciate your leadership in the field of education and the application of innovative technologies to enhance the teaching and learning experiences for all students,” Gray wrote.

NCTI’s demise means that the organization’s Technology Innovators Conference will not be held this year, and the annual Tech in the Works Competition, which provides funding for short-term assistive technology research, will end as well.

The annual Technology Innovators Conference has met since 2006. Although the conference will not be held this year, materials from previous conferences, including speaker presentations, audio interviews, photos, and a virtual Tech Expo tour, are posted online. Those resources will remain archived online.

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