Gayle Minnick-Underwood, B.S., M.A., Associate During Gayle Underwood’s 15 years of experience in Education she has focused on helping students with special needs to use technology to be able to communicate and to participate more fully in school. She has worked as a Speech and Language Pathologist with students who have Severe and Multiple Impairments, as an Assistive Technology Coordinator with students who have special needs and most recently as the Technology Integration Consultant for the Allegan Area Education Service Agency (AAESA) in Allegan, Michigan. Gayle has consulted in schools all over Michigan and around the world including Kuwait where she worked with the staff at the Khalifa School in Kuwait City to help them implement Assistive Technology with their students.
Recently, through her involvement with the Michigan’s Integrated Technology Supports (MITS) initiative in the Universal Design for Learning approach for Michigan’s schools, her work expanded in learning the theory and practice of the science of Structured Dialogic Design (SDD). She has teamed with Dr. Alexander N. Christakis, one of the founders of SDD, to create a Virtual Structured Dialogic Design Process that has been helping groups of stakeholders from different walks of life to come to consensus regarding complex issues. This process is particularly suitable for listening concurrently to the authentic voices of such relevant stakeholders as parents, teachers, administrators, consultants, as well as students with special needs in a group setting for the purpose of designing effective learning and teaching strategies for all students.
Gayle is responsible for designing and implementing virtual SDD platforms for such challenging issues as building peace and contributing to the reunification of the Turkish and Greek communities in the island of Cyprus. Recently she collaborated with the Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO) and the Advancement of Maori Opportunity (AMO) in designing a virtual Indigenous Leaders Interactive System (ILIS) that will become a critical tool in enhancing the interaction and communication among indigenous people at the global scale all over the planet.
In the Information Age, all of us have special needs when it comes to our capacity to dialogue on learning how to address complex matters affecting our lives and the lives of other citizens. Gayle’s career is dedicated to supporting people from all walks of life through the use of modern technology tools in fulfilling people’s special needs for the practice of participative democracy.