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University of Connecticut Assistive Technology Oral History Project

Madalaine Pugliese

Program Coordinator in Assistive Technology
Simmons College, Boston

Date: February 1, 2008

Snippet 1: "What was the impact of your first AT conference on your Boston position?" (3:33)

Snippet 2: "What was your next AT conference experience?" (2:10)

Download: Full Transcript

Madalaine got started in AT when she was the IEP team director in a Boston Public Schools' early intervention preschool and needed to write an educational plan for a low-vision, non-speaking three year old.

Intrigued by a text to speech board a software engineering friend was using, she started looking into what else was available and discovered an "amazing device" called the ECHO Speech Synthesizer and then the connection of the Apple II Plus and the Talking Text Writer.

She tells about her work as director of a Technology Resource Center, and the impact of a 1983 CEC conference, the life-long mentors and friends she met there, and her excitement over the fit between technology and learning. Madalaine cites the unique spirit of the ConnSense conference as influential, as well as the other early AT developers, teachers, therapists, and parents she met there. Her discussion of her center becoming a national model and working with other districts to get them started reflects her commitment to making technology solutions accessible to all.

Her journey continued after she left the Boston public schools--private consulting, working with the Abilities Expo, creating SWAT teams in the Massachusetts State Department and having that project acknowledged by the Smithsonian. Madalaine joined her vision with that of Simmons College and tells about her current work and writing her book, "Stages."