Skip to Search
Skip to Navigation
Skip to Content

University of Connecticut Assistive Technology Oral History Project

Harry Murphy

Date: March 22, 2010

Dr. Harry Murphy is the man who founded the CSUN (California State University Northridge) Conference. That alone would indicate he has had quite an extensive career, but there is more.

After beginning as a high school English teacher of unmotivated students, Harry heard of a position open at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, applied and got it, without training or experience. The school paid to train him nearly to a Master's level and he felt it was a very positive experience.

After winning a CSUN scholarship in leadership, Harry became principal of a school for the deaf in the Los Angeles area. Then from 1972 to 1979 Dr. Murphy was the Assistant Director of the National Center on Deafness. In 1983 he moved to the CSUN office that handled all disabilities except deafness and began to get involved in technology.

When the CSUN conference started in '85, Harry at first didn't see the necessity of having computers.  After everyone asked him about what computers he used, out of embarrassment, he raised $300,000 for a nice computer, and that's how it got started.

You'll hear much more about his efforts to make CSUN an international conference, his work around the world in helping others develop assistive technology conferences, and what he has been up to since he retired from CSUN ten years ago.

Snippet 1: "Tell us how you became interested in the field of disabilities."

Snippet 2: "Can you describe the impact of the earthquake on your CSUN Conference?"


Download: Full Transcript