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University of Connecticut Assistive Technology Oral History Project

Eileen Pracek

Assistive Technology Advisor, Retired

Date: February 1, 2007

Snippet 1: "How did Florida get so far ahead in early technology?" (5:56)

Snippet 2: "What about that important event at Gallaudet College?" (1:40)

Download: Full Transcript

Eileen begins with Florida's head start in AT because of an early 80's state mandate to use technology in instruction when the network of 18 centers, Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System (FDLRS), became the venue for this initiative.

Eileen's story of funding challenges, acquiring software, developing training, and expanding from one of five centers chosen for training to a statewide force is a story of a vision that technology would make a difference in the lives of children with disabilities. Explaining how she was literally and figuratively on the "bleeding edge," she tells how her FDLRS/TECH project moved from software evaluation to a much broader focus, always believing that with appropriate technologies and effective instructional strategies, kids will succeed.

Throughout this remarkable journey it is obvious that Eileen did what she loved and loved what she did and as she says, "That was a critical pieceā€¦that caring and that burning passion. People found it contagious."