Future Teachers of Blind and Deaf-Blind Aided by Funds

A recent influx of federal funds to the Lynch School of Education is strengthening Boston College's efforts to educate teachers of the blind and deaf-blind.

Assoc. Prof. Richard Jackson (LSOE) has received a three-year US Education Department grant of about $900,000 to train 60 teachers for the deaf-blind. The grant has increased the level of federal support for the school's graduate program for teachers of the blind and deaf-blind - the only one of its kind in the Northeast, Jackson said - to approximately $350,000 a year, up from $125,000 two years ago.

BC will be a partner in another major project. Through a $2.5-million federal grant , BC, Harvard University and the Council for Exceptional Children will establish the National Center for Accessing the General Curriculum, to be housed at the Center for Applied Special Technology in Peabody.

The center, scheduled to open in December, will make learning materials more accessible to the disabled through such innovations as voice-activated World Wide Web browsers and "digital books" that can be rendered in Braille or synthesized speech.

"These are exciting times to be engaged in work that will improve results for students with disabilities in the general educational environment," said Jackson, who is himself legally blind. "There has never been a better time to be alive if you're blind."

- Mark Sullivan

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