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|Dr. Ted S. Hasselbring
William T.Bryan Professor,
Special Education Technology,
University of Kentucky
is a pleasure to be able to share with you some information about
the Technology and Media Division of the Council for Exceptional
Children, better known as TAM. TAM was founded almost 20 years ago
with the purpose of promoting the availability and effective use
of technology and media for individuals with disabilities and for
those who are gifted. Specifically, the goals of TAM include:
- Promoting collaboration among educators
and others interested in using technology and media to assist
individuals with exceptional educational needs.
- Encouraging the development of new
applications, technologies, and media that can benefit individuals
- Disseminating relevant and timely information
through professional meetings, training programs,
- Coordinating the activities of educational
and governmental agencies, business, and industry.
- Developing and advancing appropriate
- Providing technical assistance, inservice,
and preservice education on the uses of techology.
- Monitoring and disseminating relevant
- Advocating for funds and policies that
support the availability and effective use of technology in this
- Supporting the activities, policies,
and procedures of CEC and the other CEC divisions.
The membership of TAM is comprised of a variety
of groups including parents, teachers, consumers, university professors
and researchers, vendors, and others. Being a TAM member has a number
of benefits. One major benefit of TAM membership is the excellent
journal entitled the Journal of Special Education Technology (JSET).
The journal is published four times a year and each issue has cutting-edge
articles on different aspects of technology use for individuals
with disabilities. JSET can also be accessed through the TAM website
along with other TAM publications such as the newsletter. The TAM
website is http://www.tamcec.org/.
I would encourage you go visit the site to learn more about TAM.
One of the best kept secrets about TAM is the
excellent conference put on each year. The conference is small and
allows participants to interact and network which I often find difficult
to do at larger conferences. A major focus of the conference is
"research to practice" and provides attendees with the
most up to date information the field has to offer. The nation's
top researchers and developers in the special education technology
are always in attendance and very high quality sessions fill the
program. The next conference will be in Reston, Virginia (near Washington,
DC) and will be held February 7-9, 2003. I would encourage each
of you to take advantage of this excellent conference.
TAM has been very fortunate over the years to
have a very close working relationship with the National Cristina
Foundation. Yvette Marrin, President of NCF, has been a long-time
member and supporter of TAM and its goals. For me personally, NCF
has been instrumental in the success of my career. As a young researcher,
NCF provided me with equipment that allowed me to conduct research
that led to the development of a number of software programs that
were made available to students with disabilities. Without NCF support,
many advancements in the special education technology field would
most certainly have been slowed and perhaps never developed. I know
I, like many of the TAM membership, owe much to the National Cristina
Foundation for support over the years that has allowed us to make
contributions to the field.
It is my hope that as I begin my term as
President of TAM that we can strengthen our relationship with the
NCF family and work together toward advancing the use of technology
for all individuals. It is the synergy between organizations like
TAM and NCF that will make the lives of individuals with disabilities
better through the use of technology.