Five-Year, $1.25 Million Grant to Fund Assistive Technology Training for Teachers at Virginia Murray Sowell Center

Date Posted: 09/28/2015

The Virginia Murray Sowell Center for Research and Education in Sensory Disabilities at Texas Tech University received a $1.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for personnel preparation. The five-year grant will fund the center's Collaboration and Assistive Technology for Students with Sensory Impairments (CAT-SI) project, which is intended to train teachers to collaborate with students' educational teams and family members and to evaluate and instruct students in assistive technology. Through the grant, 40 new students are expected to enter the center's graduate programs in one of its four areas: visual impairment, orientation and mobility, deaf or hard of hearing, or deafblindness.

"Receiving this federal grant supports the mission of the Sowell Center to enhance the quality of life, including education and socialization, for students with sensory impairments through personnel preparation, research and public service," said Rona Pogrund, the coordinator of the center's visual impairment program, in a press release issued by the center. "It will increase the number of qualified teachers in rural and high-need areas of the country to meet the specialized needs of students with visual impairments, deafness and deafblindness so they can reach their potential. . . ."

The grant will fund tuition and books, as well as pay for students' expenses so they can travel to the center and earn graduate certificates in deafblindness or certifications in any of the center's four areas of focus. The center will begin receiving funds as part of the five-year grant in summer 2015. For more information, contact: Virginia Murray Sowell Center for Research and Education in Sensory Disabilities, College of Education, Texas Tech University, P.O. Box 41071, Lubbock, TX 79409; phone: 806-742-2320; website:

Contact: (Contact information is listed in the news item.)

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