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Florence 1 Schools Selected to Co-Create a Framework on Improving Inclusive School Technology Systems

Florence 1 Schools (F1S) was one of just seven school districts selected nationwide to participate as a Framework Development District in the newly created Center on Inclusive Technology & Education Systems (CITES), funded by the US Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs.

Together, CITES and its partner districts will investigate what works when creating and sustaining balanced, inclusive technology ecosystems. The project addresses a pressing, nationwide need to improve the effective use of assistive and educational technology for all students, including students with disabilities.

The Center is led by CAST, an award-winning nonprofit that pioneered the Universal

Design for Learning framework, in partnership with the Washington, DC-based American Institutes for Research.

Rachell Johnson and Kami Smith, two F1S Assistive Technology Team Leads, were instrumental in bringing this opportunity to the district. The two team leads commented, “We are excited to be partnering with CITES and look forward to F1S contributing to this important work.”

The F1S CITES team members who are embarking on this national level project include district administrators, parents and educators in a wide variety of specialty areas. The project is currently in Phase 1 of a three-year project. Phase 2 will begin at the start of the next school year.

Learn more on the CITES website:

About CAST
Founded in 1984, CAST is a nonprofit whose mission is to transform education design and practice until learning has no limits. Winner of the Smithsonian Innovation in Education award and many other honors, CAST conducts research and development, provides technical assistance and professional development, and publishes exceptional media for the education market. CAST authored the renowned Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework and UDL Guidelines.

About the American Institutes for Research
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of education, health, and the workforce. AIR Assessment, a division of AIR, combines statistics, technology, and content into powerful K-12 formative, summative, and supplemental products and services.