Welcome to the Center.
Here in the Irene Howell Assistive Technology Center, we are dedicated to professional development, research and service around assistive technology topics and issues.
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 foremost goal is to prepare professionals at the university level to serve individuals in need of assistive technology services and devices.
We currently (2010-2011) serve students taking classes throughout the College of Education and groups of teachers from Pitt County Schools. These professionals receive training on assistive technology devices and applications – training that includes interactive, hands-on experiences. Over the next 3 years (2014) we will be expanding our services until our training includes classes across the entire campus.
Another way that we teach professionals about assistive technologies is to 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.
A secondary goal of the Assistive Technology Center is to conduct research.
We continue to develop and maintain partnerships with both private and public entities in order to support research projects. See our brochures for more information about those projects or how to become involved.
A third goal is to provide direct service to clients and the community.
We provide direct service to clients from the community if they meet one of two criteria: (1) they are a part of training for professionals; or (2) they are served on a fee-for-service basis.
The Center contains four interactive exhibit areas dedicated to professional ongoing development. Each of the exhibit areas provides opportunities for users to interact with and/or create educational materials using some type of assistive technology.