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University of Connecticut Assistive Technology Oral History Project

David Dikter


Date: March 17-21 2009

When David was in kindergarten, a little girl in his classroom helped to direct him into the field of disabilities.

His first special education teaching experience was at a learning center in Ipswich, MA that involved him in a new concept – mainstreaming.

Shortly after that experience, he went to Boston Public Schools, where his first class was self-contained with several behaviorally involved students.

During this time he met Madalaine Pugliese, coordinator of the Special Education Technology Center, who had received an Apple Grant to give teachers computers.

When the Mayor of Boston committed to buying technology for Boston schools, David used this opportunity to add more assistive technology for students with disabilities.

Eventually David moved on to corporate work, and was approached by a group of representatives from AT companies, which had already been hosting a conference. Thus began the ATIA (Assistive Technology Industry Association) with David becoming Executive Director, bringing countless positive changes for the conference.  

Snippet 1: "How did a kindergarten experience influence your later career?" (3:00)

Snippet 2: "Tell us about your move to the ATIA." (3:26)

Download: Full Transcript