Monday, April 7, 2014

Ruth Morgan Wins a 2014 Lara Jane Parker Award for Excellence

Ruth Morgan, a speech-language pathologist at Ephesus Elementary School, has been selected as a winner of a 2014 Lara Jane Parker Award for Excellence by the board of directors of New Voices Foundation.

These awards are given to outstanding individuals, within the public schools of Chatham, Durham, Orange and Wake counties and the Chapel Hill–Carrboro City Schools, who directly serve or advocate for children with both physical and communication challenges. Individuals selected for this honor have improved the lives of children who use alternate ways of communication and serve as an inspiration to others who work with such children.

Morgan has worked as a speech-language pathologist for CHCCS since 1992. She has special expertise in assistive technology, autism, and language.

Jamezetta Beford, chair of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education, said Morgan helped to pioneer the use of assistive technology at Ephesus Elementary.

“Ruth Morgan has worked with students with disabilities at Ephesus Elementary and during the extended school year since the early 1990s. From as early as 1993, she was into assistive technology,” she said.  “Touch screens were new then, and she immediately began helping non-verbal students and those with low motor skills to use them, so they could learn from educational software.  She was the first user of a MessageMate with my daughter around 1994. We recorded our voices into the machine and overlaid pictures to match the words and phrases. This was the very beginning that would lead to iPads with sophisticated word banks in this decade!” 

Morgan will be honored during the Lara Jane Parker Awards ceremony scheduled for Thursday, April 24 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill.  She will receive a trophy along with a cash award of $500.

New Voices Foundation is a non-profit organization that strives to help children with severe communication and physical challenges maximize their learning potential.

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