NEC Awards Grants for Programs Supporting Students with Disabilities


The NEC Foundation this week awarded grants to five different programs supporting special needs students, specifically students with disabilities. The grants, which focused largely on assistive technologies, totaled more than $230,000.

Among the programs receiving funding from NEC are two efforts to disseminate software applications supporting students with disabilities. One is the Center for Applied Special Technology, which received $60,000 to be put toward publishing and disseminating a free Web-based writing program called Science Writer. It's designed to help middle school and high school students with disabilities write science research reports.

The other went to the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technology for Children with Orthopedic Disabilities out of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, which received $32,000 to support a therapeutic video game called Hands-Up. The funds will be used to help disseminate the software to dozens of organizations that work with kids with severe sensory-motor disabilities. According to NEC, "Partner groups will receive free software, instructional and evaluation materials, as well as ongoing technical assistance to help them build their own capabilities."

Other programs receiving funding included:

  • Brave Kids ($28,150) to expand to provide additional informational resources to children with disabilities;
  • Purdue University's Breaking New Ground program ($50,000) to support a technology awareness program for rural STEM teachers; and
  • The Center for Legal and Court Technology out of the College of William and Mary's School of Law to enhance the Accessible Courts Initiative.

Further information about the grants ad about the NEC Foundation can be found here.