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University of Connecticut Assistive Technology Oral History Project

Joel E. Mittler, Ed.D.

Professor - Special Education

Date: June 3, 2008

Snippet 1: "How did you happen to become involved in assistive technology?" (7:01)

Snippet 2: "Remind us of your summer institutes on assistive technology" (2:59)

Download: Full Transcript

Joel's began in the mid '70's at Teachers College at Columbia University and learned about commitment to CEC (Council for Exceptional Children) from his department chair, who gave him the feeling he should and could make a difference nationally.

He became somewhat interested in technology when he bought his first IBM personal computer and tells about the impact of the 1983 Hartford CEC conference, as well as the influential people he met there when he was an Assistant Professor at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University. He discusses being in on the formation of the new division of CEC called TAM (Technololgy and Media), the influence of the Hagens and Closing the Gap in guiding him into investigating the use of robotics with individuals with disabilities, evaluating software for IBM and its application for special education students, and resulting publications.

Throughout 25 years of board and leadership roles, his countless contributions to TAM reflect his commitment to AT, along with his role of coordinating the Children's Action Network. Joel finishes this interview with thought provoking reflections on IDEA, based on individual needs, and "No Child Left Behind," which mandates "all kids," and talks about possible good news ahead.