University of Southern Mississippi officials today celebrated the completion of a new $2.4 million facility that will translate into expanded services and resources for Mississippi residents with disabilities.
Representatives of the Southern Miss Institute for Disability Studies, along with Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services, celebrated the milestone with a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Technology Learning Center at the Gulf Park campus, replacing the original facility destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
“The Southern Miss Technology Learning Center upholds the university’s commitment to community,” said Southern Miss President Martha Saunders. “TLC is an outreach program that is a catalyst for positive change for people with disabilities and helps transform lives for the benefit of society.”
The TLC provides Southern Miss teacher education students with hands-on experience with state-of-the-art assistive technology equipment, along with providing children and adults in the community with services and opportunities to borrow expensive equipment for improved quality of life. Additional services available statewide include school consultations for assistive technology solutions for students with disabilities.
The new facility was designed by Allred Architectural Group and constructed by J.O. Collins Contractor Inc. The building features a soft rubber floor, a conference room with state-of-the-art teleconferencing capabilities and an observation room for teachers in training. Additionally, adapted toys and computers, beach wheelchairs, and various recreational equipment are available at the TLC.
Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services Executive Director H.S. “Butch” McMillan explained that the “most important goal is to promote learning, individualism, and independence for Mississippians with disabilities.”
“We are pleased that our partnership with The University of Southern Mississippi and the Technology Learning Center has resulted in providing unique and innovative opportunities for the children and adults of our state,” added McMillan. “The skills and knowledge they gain, along with the support provided for their families, will help to advance our common goal.”
All adapted and recreational equipment may be borrowed free of charge to anyone with disabilities. For more information about the Technology Learning Center at Southern Miss, call 228.214.3400 or visit www.usm.edu/tlc.
Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services Executive Director H.S. “Butch” McMillan, second from left, and University of Southern Mississippi President Martha Saunders, third from left, cut the ribbon celebrating the completion of a new $2.4 million facility for the university’s Technology Learning Center. Housed at the Southern Miss Gulf Park campus in Long Beach, the TLC provides Southern Miss teacher education students with hands-on experience with state-of-the-art assistive technology equipment, along with providing children and adults in the community with services and opportunities to borrow expensive equipment for improved quality of life. (Southern Miss Photo by Charmaine Schmermund)
Lathan Windley, a third grade student at Pass Christian Elementary School, shows Southern Miss President Martha Saunders how to use adapted toys during the Technology Learning Center ribbon cutting celebration. (Southern Miss Photo by Charmaine Schmermund)
About The University of Southern MississippiThe University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu/gulfcoast .