CREATE: “All teachers need to know about assistive technology”

To provide high quality instruction for each and every student, College of Education students and faculty need access to both pre-made assistive technology and customized assistive technology solutions. The College’s Center for Resources and Equipment for Assistive Technology in Education (CREATE) opened for Purdue Education faculty and students in the Fall of 2021 to help meet this need. 

Purdue Education students use the CREATE library/makerspace to use and invent
assistive technology to help their classroom students.

The mission of CREATE is to promote accessibility and inclusion in education through innovative and effective interventions. CREATE is an assistive technology (AT) library and makerspace for individualizing and creating the next generation of AT interventions. Assistive technology is any device, software, or equipment that increases, maintains, or improves the way people learn, communicate, or live (IDEA Amendments of 2004. P.L. 108-446, 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq., 300.5).

Jennifer E. Smith
Jasmine Begeske

CREATE was established in 2021 with $100K in funding from the Purdue University Instructional Equipment Grant. Multiple classes utilize both the center located in Beering Hall as well as mobile carts to demonstrate assistive technology in Purdue courses. Pre-service teachers also have access to check out resources and equipment for use with students in their classroom field experiences. 

“All teachers need to know about assistive technology,” said Jennifer E. Smith, CREATE Founding Co-Director and a clinical assistant professor in special education in the College.

Users of the makerspace can be “inventors of technology rather than just consumers,” said Jasmine Begeske, who co-founded CREATE with Smith and is a clinical instructor in special education in the College.

Currently there are seven Purdue students also working in the makerspace: three Special Education doctoral students, Samira Bashiru, David Ray Miranda, and Charissa Richards; and four undergraduate researchers, Yuting Zhang (General Education), Jordan Potter (Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences), Emma Jones (Elementary Education) and Jake Jenkins (Special Education/Elementary Education).

The makerspace offers a poster printer; research, teaching, engagement opportunities for AT; supplies; workspaces; and many other items to help create AT. Video tour:

Smith and Begeske are planning an Open House during the Spring semester to introduce the makerspace to the Purdue and wider educational community.

CREATE is open during the semester and those interested can stop by Beering Hall 3272 to see what’s available and use the resources, or they may make an appointment by calling 765-494-5572 or emailing It’s available to Purdue students interested in AT and also to teachers in the community.

Dr. Jennifer E. Smith is a clinical assistant professor of special education at Purdue University, where she teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses, including field-based practicum courses and student teaching for all special education majors and dual education (i.e., special education and elementary education) majors. Her research interests include teacher preparation, creativity/creative self-efficacy for students with disabilities, twice-exceptionality, and developing positive teacher-student-family relationships.

Dr. Jasmine Begeske is an artist, researcher, and teacher educator. She is a clinical instructor in special education at Purdue University with a research and teaching focus on inclusion and accessibility for students with disabilities. Her research centers on access and accessibility to arts education for vulnerable populations, where she explores developing and individualizing creative assistive technology solutions for improved accessibility to learning. Her artistic practice includes experimental printmaking and participatory arts projects that include individuals with disabilities as makers.

Sources: Jennifer E. Smith,; Jasmine Begeske,; and