Texas Tech Center for Sensory Disabilities Partners with Indian Rehab Council

Sowell Center will host three from India to sign MOU.

A partnership between Texas Tech University’s College of Education and the Rehabilitation Council of India hopes to advance the development of both entities, especially in academic programs and research activities in certain fields.

Texas Tech’s Virginia Murray Sowell Center for Research and Education in Sensory Disabilities will host three individuals from India from June 24-July 1, to celebrate the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the council and the university.

The formal ceremony is at 10 a.m. June 27 in room 104 of the Administration Building. Provost Bob Smith and Ambassador Tibor Nagy, the director of the Office of International Affairs; Nora Griffin-Shirley, the director of the Sowell Center; and Scott Ridley, dean of the College of Education, will participate in the signing.

“This agreement builds on the Fulbright experience I had in 2009 in India,” Griffin-Shirley said. “Returning to Texas Tech with a commitment to carry on the mission of the Fulbright Program to increase mutual understanding, this MOU offers the opportunity for both TTU and Indian faculty and students to engage in research to benefit individuals with disabilities, specifically those with blindness and additional disabilities such as autism spectrum disorder.”

The Indian delegation includes: J. P. Singh, member secretary, Rehabilitation Council of India; Hemlata Chari, deputy director, National Center for Disability Studies, Indira Gandhi National Open University; and S. R. Mittal, Department of Education, Central Institute of Education, Delhi University. Mittal himself is blind and was the former director of the National Institute of the Visually Handicapped.

“This visit will enable us to share the best practices in India and U.S. and get mutual benefit for the programs in special education,” Chari said. “If possible we will look forward to develop a collaborative program of short duration for the professionals of both the countries.”

The agreement includes provisions for the institution and council to exchange information, faculty and students in both academic and research programs, as well as to formulate specific action agreements to assist in creating and operating academic and research programs. The partners also agree to explore ways to finance joint projects through special government and other funding sources.

The visit also includes a seminar hosted by the Sowell Center from 2 -5 p.m. June 30 in Room 001 in the College of Education. Topics of discussion are Education and Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities, including those with Blindness in India, and Preparation of Special Educators in India through Distance Education. A reception will follow. Community members are welcome to attend and there is no charge. For more information contact Kelly Golden at (806) 742-1997 ext. 233 or kelly.j.golden@ttu.edu.

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CONTACT: Judy Simpson, assistant dean, Operations, Outreach, and Public Relations, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-1998 ext. 456, or judy.a.simpson@ttu.edu.