I am currently an assistant professor of special education at Illinois State University and the director of the Spatial Ability and Blind Engineering Research project. I use interdisciplinary approaches to study equity and access for disabled students1 in technology-mediated learning environments in order to disrupt systemic ableism and to reimagine technology-mediated education as a place that values and actively makes space for disabled ways of knowing and being.
My dissertation research investigated how K-12 local education agencies (LEAs) ensured equitable access to technology-mediated learning for disabled students by enacting technology accessibility policies. The study explored this process at five LEAs through interviews with district leaders and the analysis of policy artifacts. The study articulated how proactive K-12 LEAs interpreted and subsequently implemented technology accessibility policy as they develop and procured technologies.
I am a teacher of blind and disabled students by professional background. My K-12 teaching experience spans a variety of settings including: charter schools, large urban public schools, and residential schools. I also served as the Director of Education for the National Federation of the Blind, where I developed STEM and Braille education programs for blind learners of all ages and served as a resource to students, parents, and educators around the country. My professional experiences as well as my lived experience as a blind person have engendered a devotion to creating learning environments that are accessible to disabled learners.
1 On this page and in my research, I use identity-first language (i.e., disabled person) instead of person-first language (i.e., person with a disability), as this language more accurately reflects my view of disability as a component of identity and a point of pride.