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University of Connecticut Assistive Technology Oral History Project

Dolores and Bud Hagen

Co-founders of Closing The Gap

Date: October 17, 2007

Snippet 1: "The First Computer" (5:54)

Snippet 2: "Startup of CTG Newsletter" (3:35)

Download: Full Transcript

Dolores' interview begins with her personal story as a mother of seven children in the early '80's, one with a hearing impairment, who was unhappy and unsuccessful at school. When learning there was a computer in the back room that "nobody knew what to do with," she volunteered to help, read the manual, inserted a disk, and, "Voila!"

Researching software, discovering the ECHO--from then on Dolores, Bud, and their family were totally and completely involved in the possibilities of technology for those individuals with disabilities.

Already in publishing and too excited to keep their discoveries to themselves, they began a newspaper, which went worldwide and international, leading to people arriving at the Hagen home with their children, calling for help, and insisting on workshops.

This evolved into their first conference and Closing the Gap, and over 25 years later, it remains a premier conference for parents and educators who seek innovative applications of assistive technology for persons with disabilities.

Along the way, the Hagens talk about the significant support and help received from Alan Brightman and Apple and their respect for Apple's philosophy of adapting their machine to reach all people.