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, which is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation. My work as a whole focuses on equity and technology-enhanced learning with the goal of empowering disabled learners1 in the twenty-first century.
My dissertation research investigated how K-12 local education agencies (LEAs) ensured equitable access to technology enhanced 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 special education teacher and a teacher of the blind 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 all 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.