Mississippi State University officials say the university has no plans to close the T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability, but will form a plan to keep the center operational.

MSU Office of Public Affairs Associate Director Harriet Laird said since the plan is still being formulated, specifics cannot be discussed.

MSU President Mark Keenum released a statement Monday evening regarding the center, saying:

"The T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability and its staff have offered valuable services to the campus and the community throughout its history. The university has no plans to close the center. I have visited the center many times and have seen first-hand what an impact these programs have in helping improve the lives of individuals with disabilities."

The statement comes after numerous posts on social media claimed alleged budget cuts made by the MSU College of Education could put the center in danger of closing for good - a notion the university says is not true.

Laird said the MSU College of Education was actually supplementing the center, which operates with grants and contracts.

It is unclear at this time what positions or services have been impacted specifically.

Keenum also said he met with Provost and Executive Vice President Judy Bonner this week regarding the center's fiscal situation.

"She is taking action to address budget issues and develop a comprehensive plan to ensure the center will continue its vital mission of service and outreach," he added in his statement.

Laird mentioned Keenum's intent is to continue the vital work of T.K. Martin to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

The center serves individuals with special needs through a variety of programs such as Dyslexia Services, Express Yourself Art!, Camp Jabber Jaw and Project IMPACT.

The T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability was formally named after professor of English Theodore K. Martin in April 1997. Martin came to MSU in 1949 and put forth a substantial amount of effort with the university that he was named vice president in 1966.

Since 1972, Mississippi State's accommodation and assimilation with students with disabilities have earned them recognition nationally. Its mission is to empower individuals with disabilities with clinical research and training programs focusing on modern technologies.

According to its website, 16 staff members are employed at T.K. Martin ranging from speech pathologists, occupational therapists, special educators, and rehabilitation and biomedical engineers.

Recommended for you