SET & spedtalk?

What's up with that?

I’ve been associated with the mark “spedtalk” since the 1990s. Even before then, though, I co-edited a newsletter called Special Education Today. Along with my colleagues and pals, Jim Kauffman and Dan Hallahan, I produced a paper (!) newsletter that was distributed through physical mail to > 1000 subscribers. It was devoted to disseminating up-to-date and trustworthy information to teachers, parents, and administrators associated with special education. This is the rebirth of that news letter. (There is an image of the front and back pages of the innaugural issue of SET later in this post, for you history buffs.)

In a sense, Special Education Today is a child of a mailing list that I coordinated beginning in the early 1990s. That mailing list was named “spedtalk” and it was delivered to subscribers using resources of the University of Virginia. I started it as a means of promoting discussion between students in classes at UVA and Purdue University. Later I added some other widely known professors of special education and suddenly there were lots of people interested in participating. So, in 1993, I took it public. At about that time, the Internet exploded (i.e., AOL burst upon the scene). Suddenly, over 1000 people wanted to subscribe to spedtalk@virginia.edu. The list serve grew a lot, but it was no longer a place for higher educators to converse with their students and peers. Flame wars became common and, after multiple efforts to douse them, in about 1999, I decided to discontinue the list—it just didn’t seem wise to have UVA’s name (and my own) associated with ill-reasoned, ill-spoken, and (apparently) mean-spirited talk about special education and special educators.

In the meantime, however, I’d started several other mailing lists and Web resources about special education. I bought a bunch of Web domain names, including spedtalk.* (.com, .org, .net, and etc.), LDBlog.*, EBDBlog.*, BehaviorMod.*, TeachEffectively.*, and more. As you might guess, one of those was specialeducationtoday.*.

I began publishing content at specialeducationtoday.com in the early 2000s. I’ll drop a screen shot of the “about” page into this post.

Recently, I returned to my interest in promoting trustworthy information for special educators and parents of students with disabilities. I re-launched spedtalk.com, but I discovered that someone else had trademarked that name. I didn’t want to create a big legal battle with those folks, so I migrated the content from spedtalk.com to specialeducationtoday.com.

And, I guess that sorta explains why you’re here.

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