Derrick Smith - Texas Tech University

Photo: Derrick Smith, NCLVI Fellow

My name is Derrick Smith and I am currently the secondary mathematics teacher at the Alabama School for the Blind in Talladega, Alabama.  I  came to the field of education of students with visual impairments through  a series of unique events.  After completing my bachelor's degree in  mathematics at Faulkner University in Montgomery, I went to work as a  network administrator for a small corporation.  In August of 2000, I was  approached by the Alabama School for the Blind to replace their  secondary math teacher who had left for another position.  With no  formal education training, I began teaching two weeks into the school  year.  Immediately I fell in love with my students and realized very  quickly that teaching was my new life career.

During the last five years I have been able to earn my MAEd. from the  University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in special education for  students with visual impairments as well as my leadership  certification.  Through UAB, I was able to become an active member in  the Council for Exceptional Children Division on Visual Impairments  (DVI) and have held positions of Student Ambassador, Director, and  currently Treasurer.  I have been the recipient of an AIDB Foundation  Grant to teach economics and a Toyota TIME grant to teach physics in the  mathematics classrooms.  I am currently a member of the Teacher Design  Collaborative Group that is beta-testing Touch Graphics Talking Tactile  Tablet and I have worked on many smaller projects at ASB.

I look forward to the opportunity of continuing my education.  My  personal career goal is to be able to have an impact on as many students  with visual impairments throughout the country and possibly the world.   I hope that through my future research and teaching opportunities that I  will be able to help students with visual impairments to have more  opportunities to succeed.

February, 2008

Derrick Smith successfully defended his dissertation and earned his doctorate in February, becoming the first NCLVI Fellow to do so. Dr. Smith has accepted a post as Assistant Professor in Special Education at the University of Alabama - Huntsville.  See Completed Doctorates