History and Formation of the Statewide Conference
In 1974-75, Regional Day School Programs for the Deaf (RDSPD’s) were being established across the state of Texas in the public school setting. Dorine Cunningham and John Butler (Texas Education Agency Services for the Deaf/Hard of hearing) helped to establish 18 programs (RDSPD’s) for the deaf in the North Texas Region. (Abilene to Texarkana)
During program reviews, Dorine and John had many teachers tell them that they did not have any real staff development opportunities specific to working with students who were deaf and/or hard of hearing. Their teachers also wanted to meet and share with other teachers from different programs to get new ideas. With these needs in mind, they came up with the concept of an annual regional conference for the personnel in the North Texas Region.
The first regional conference was held in a local hotel conference center in the fall of 1976. As the years rolled on more and more personnel from other regions began attending the conference and a decision was made to change the regional conference to one big conference for all personnel working with students who were deaf/hard of hearing in Texas. The last regional conference was held in the North Texas Region in 1983 and the first Statewide Conference was held in 1984.
An organizational meeting was held at the Callier Center in Dallas and officers were elected for a new statewide organization, T.A.P.E.D. or Texas Association of Parents and Educators for the Deaf.
One of the first goals of T.A.P.E.D. was to support the notion of a Statewide Conference where stakeholders from across the state could come together. During the next few years, the Statewide Conference became the T.A.P.E.D. Statewide Conference for the deaf.
President: Kelley Watt (Region 4 ESC)
Vice President: Debbie Martin (Plano RDSPD)
Secretary: Marina McCormick
Director of Educators: Angela Belding (Brazos River RDSPD)
Director at Large: Dr. Bobbie Beth Scoggins
Director of Parents: Lindsey Chandler