Virginia Commonwealth University
November 5, 2014
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Linda Oggel, M.A., CCC-SLP and Sandy Wilberger, M.Ed.

“Scaffolding, fencing, and construction.” How do these words pertain to the T/TAC at VCU? They relate in two ways. First, we are now in a new space (700 E. Franklin Street, 1st floor) just six blocks down the street from our former location. Nearly one year ago we moved here to occupy the entire first floor with our VCU parent organization, The Partnership for People with Disabilities. This new space offers us a much larger conference room, a distance education room, and more usable area for our three libraries: materials, instruction, and assistive technology. This historic building was built in 1919 as the headquarters of the Virginia Railway and Power Company. The upper floors are being converted to new apartments. Therefore, the site itself has been under construction since we moved in; hence, the “scaffolding, fencing, and construction” comment at the beginning of the article. Although construction on the building continues, we are pleased to say that most of the outdoor equipment has come down, especially along Franklin Street directly in front of the entrance to our offices.

Directors outside building

Come visit us in our new space and explore all the resources we have to offer.

In the meantime, do not let the construction deter you from visiting our new site. We have access to a parking garage connected to the building, and we can provide parking vouchers for your visits to our libraries or trainings. The parking garage entrance is on 8th Street, between East Grace Street and East Franklin Street. When you enter, you’ll push a button to get a ticket; then park in any non-reserved spot. Before you leave, we will give you a voucher to use so that you won’t have to pay as you exit. Also, you will find easy street parking on the streets surrounding our building.

The second aspect of “scaffolding, fencing, and construction” is T/TAC’s work in your schools to help you “scaffold” your supports to students with disabilities, learn how to differentiate your teaching strategies, and utilize hands-on learning opportunities. Furthermore, we want to help you “construct” new ways of helping students with disabilities by teaching you strategies that you can use to teach the content to your students.

As mentioned previously, we are sharing our new space with the Partnership for People with Disabilities. Both organizations are grant-funded centers under the School of Education at VCU. If you are not familiar with the Partnership, a visit to us would be a perfect way to learn more. Briefly, the VCU Partnership for People with Disabilities is a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD)—the only one in Virginia–and is part of a network of 67 UCEDDs located throughout the United States and its territories. They fall under the Association of University Centers on Disabilities. The objectives of all UCEDDs are interdisciplinary training, community service, research and evaluation, and dissemination.

Like the Partnership, some of T/TAC’s work entails training and dissemination of information. Thus, our T/TAC is “constructing” new connections with the Partnership, physical ones now, albeit that our fiscal and administrative connection to the Partnership has been in place over 30 years.

We are eager for you to visit our new space and to explore the many resources that are located in our materials, instructional, and assistive technology labs. A variety of materials are available including books, DVDs, assessments, curricula, and many hands-on instructional materials. Once you visit, you will find that it is well worth your effort to come downtown.

Since we are located in the historic downtown area of Richmond, you can visit nearby places, if time allows. We are just one block away from the beautiful Capitol grounds. Along the streets surrounding our office are many quaint coffee shops and lunch spots in historic buildings. Seeing the interior of these buildings can be fun and interesting. Please take a look at our photo showing the entrance to our building.

If you work in Region 8, you can easily access our office and library at Pickett Park in Nottoway County. Be reminded that the T/TAC at VCU is available to assist you build “scaffolds” and more as you work with students with disabilities.

 

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