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CELLULAR TECHNOLOGY TAKES A SEAT IN THE CLASSROOM IN PHONE TRIAL TO HELP ITINERANT TEACHERS

 CELLULAR TECHNOLOGY TAKES A SEAT IN THE CLASSROOM
 IN PHONE TRIAL TO HELP ITINERANT TEACHERS
 DALLAS, April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems along with the University of Texas at Austin, Department of Special Education have launched a cellular phone trial to help alleviate the communication plight faced by the itinerant teacher.
 During the Spring semester, Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems is providing cellular phones to 25 itinerant teachers who work with the blind and visually impaired children. The teachers represent 12 of the 20 Educational Region Areas in Texas.
 "Many of the itinerant teachers cover large territories and can't readily be reached in cases of emergency or to receive important messages," said Dr. Anne Corn, professor and coordinator of programs for the visually handicapped in the Special Education Department at the University of Texas at Austin. "I believe a cellular phone will make that problem obsolete."
 Preparation for the trial began in December 1991 with the participating teachers keeping daily telephone logs of calls made and received. The teachers will continue to keep a log and track their calls during the trial to gauge increased productivity and time saving benefits with the use of cellular phones.
 "Cellular technology will help eliminate many of the problems faced by itinerant teachers," said John Stupka, president and chief executive officer of Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems. "A cellular phone opens lines of communication between the teachers and everyone they need to talk to at different times during the day. The car becomes an office on the road and gives the itinerant teacher a sense of personal security while traveling."
 As a part of the trial, Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems has provided the cellular phones and is also underwriting practically all costs associated with the trial except for the airtime charges. Airtime charges will be taken care of by the teachers' employers. At the end of the trial, Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems will donate the phones to the Educational Region Areas that choose to continue using cellular service.
 "This trial is an answer to our prayers," said Debbie Thompson, an itinerant teacher with the Education Service Center in San Antonio, Texas. "Now I'll have extra time to dedicate to my students rather than spending it on the road returning from cancelled appointments unknown to me prior to arrival."
 "Our company has the unique opportunity to contribute to the ongoing mission of the itinerant teacher to bring specialized education to blind and visually impaired students," said Stupka. "Hopefully this trial will spark further ideas and improvements that can benefit other educational programs in Texas and throughout the nation."
 -0- 4/22/92
 /CONTACT: Dr. Anne Corn of University of Texas at Austin, 512-471-4161; or Walter F. Patterson of Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems, 214-733-2132/ CO: Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems; University of Texas, Austin ST: Texas IN: TLS SU:


DG-RM -- DV005 -- 1211 04/22/92 11:22 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 22, 1992
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