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Chapter 26 The National Media Materials Center for Severely Handicapped Persons: Challenges of Year III Barbara Malan McLean BARBARA MALAN MCLEAN is currently Director of the National Media Materials Center for Severely Handicapped Persons at George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Ms. McLean is widely known as an expert in mediation processes, instructional media materials, and the dissemination of such materials. As Associate Director of Project MORE, she guided the project's pioneering efforts to enter the instructional materials market. Ms. McLean has collaborated with both business and professional people to produce and market mediated, instructional packages. Most recently , she has been involved in writing a series of scripts of the future for a Nashville television station. INTRODUCTION The National Media Materials Center for Severely Handicapped Persons is a BEH contract, awarded to George Peabody College for Teachers (now part of Vanderbilt University ) in October 1977. We are presently in the third and final year of the contract. During the first 2 years, our Center was composed of five components: Retrieval and Review; Analysis/ Field Testing; Development; Adaption; and Public Information. This year, however, the responsibilities have been somewhat overlapping , and these distinct components have been restructured so that personnel may work as an integrated team. CODING AND CATALOGUING The coding and cataloguing function was the "Retrieval and Review" department for the first 2 years of the contract. We are no longer contacting producers and distributors to obtain products for review and evaluation, but we are 790 A.A.D. I September 1980 National Media Materials Center continuing to collect the current catalogs from distributors. Our efforts in this third year are focused on providing a convenient, disseminable catalog of the 500 or so mediated products for the severely handicapped population we have reviewed and evaluated. This information currently exists in two forms: printed abstracts and McBee handsort coding cards. In order to make the information more readily accessible, we decided to transfer the information to an Apple II microcomputer disk. The disk could then be distributed more efficiently and, we hope, more costeffectively than the bulky print material. From royalty accounts, we purchased an Apple II Home Computer, a Centronics printout machine, and an Apple II Disk Drive component . This machinery readily adapts to any standard television monitor. The soft disk recording medium was chosen because of its storage capacity and its convenient size and shape. The Apple II computer was chosen because of its simplicity. We elected to use the printer for further consumer convenience although all information from the files appears on the monitor screen. Upon completion of this contract year, we will have a complete disk catalog of the available mediated products which we have reviewed . This system will be independent of all other projects and products undertaken in the 3 years of this contract. The cost of the disk catalog has not yet been estimated as the processes through which it must go have not yet been determined. In labeling the conditions and content of these products, we have used the producer's/ distributor's specifications. It was not our purpose to evaluate the "realms" of special education or educational media; but everything on the disk has been reviewed, is commercially available, and pertains to severe levels of each handicapping condition. The design of the computer program is quite straightforward. It follows a procedure similar to the following: 1. The user decides which handicapping condition is to be used and chooses one of 19 options. 2. The area of interest or content desired is chosen—29 possible choices. 3. Users indicate the "audience" they need the product for, whether it be teachers, parents, or specialists in other fields. 4. Finally, the user will have an option regarding the list of products to be listed by the amount of money that will be available to the user. For example, a teacher with little or no money can request only the list of products that are free. PUBLIC INFORMATION The public information function of the National Media Materials Center has four basic responsibilities: 1. To respond to letters and phone inquiries about the Center, its work, and our products . All abstracts of materials reviewed...


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