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Release: Nov. 7, 2002

Dawson wins UI Council on Disability Awareness Achievement Award

Robert David Dawson, director of the Iowa Center for Assistive Technology and Educational Resources (ICATER) in the University of Iowa College of Education, is this year's recipient of the UI's Council on Disability Awareness Achievement Award.

The Council on Disability Awareness (CDA) presents the award annually to recognize individuals, departments or units at the university that have improved access for persons with disabilities and increased awareness of disability issues, concerns and needs. CDA first presented the award to Hancher Auditorium in 1997.

Dawson helped create ICATER last year to increase technology access for people with disabilities and to provide training and education on assistive technologies for people throughout the community. Since its inception, the center has provided individual training for UI students, as well as classroom training sessions within the College of Education for area education agencies and community schools.

Dawson is involved in a proposed evaluation of Iowa K-12 schools' use of assistive technologies. Additionally, he is working with the Law, Health Policy & Disability Center at the UI College of Law, under its I.T. Works program, to assess industrial technology and people with disabilities.

"Robert Dawson has been an extraordinarily effective catalyst in the area of assistive technology," says Jim Marshall, associate dean for teacher education in the College of Education. "He has generated interest, orchestrated research projects, organized professional conversations and developed very promising grant proposals."

Dawson was presented with the award at an Oct. 24 ceremony. He says that he felt very honored and that the award holds special significance for him because he was diagnosed with cognitive and learning disabilities as a child.

"Any time a person with a disability wins an award, it shows that they are making it," he says.