From the moment she set foot on a university campus as a freshman, Belinda Rudinger, Ed.D., knew she wanted to work in higher education. After earning her bachelor’s degree in literature with plans for graduate work in second language acquisition, a summer special education position stole her heart and changed her direction. After graduate work in applied behavior analysis, autism intervention, and visual impairments, she served as a teacher, mentor and assistive technology consultant. Special education offered her the chance to work with students from ages 11 months to 21 years, with a range of exceptionalities in diverse settings.
“Even your hardest day in special education is filled with meaning,” Rudinger said. “Driving home each day, you know that your work made a difference.”
Providing outreach and professional development as a consultant reminded Rudinger of her original calling to work in higher education and prompted her to complete her doctorate. Her path has happily come full circle with the opportunity to serve as a clinical assistant professor at A&M-Commerce.
A Conversation with Dr. Rudinger
What do you like most about your career?
Special education is still a new field with a lot to discover! I love finding ways to synthesize current research into specific actionable steps for new teachers to employ. College can be a tough time for many students as they balance work, personal lives and studies. As a professor, providing care and support during this period of their lives allows me to pay forward how countless educators, students and families have made a difference in my life.
What has been your favorite course to teach?
I love teaching our seminar in Assessment and Moderate and Severe Disabilities because it allows me to focus on two of my favorite topics: applied behavior analysis and assistive technology.
Tell us about an academic project you are working on or recently completed.
In one recent project, I explored the impact of assistive technology on self-determination for individuals with visual impairments. This work involved considering the user experience in the areas of autonomy, competence and relatedness. Overall, my research interests lie in leveraging technology to promote empowerment and connection.
- Ed.D., Educational Sustainability, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 2020
- Assistive Technology Professional certification, Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America, 2017
- Certificate in Visual Impairment, Stephen F. Austin State University, 2010
- M.Ed., Special Education, University of North Texas, 2004
- B.A., Literature, University of North Texas, 2001
- Clinical Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University-Commerce
Honors and Awards
- International Delegate, World Blindness Summit, 2021
- Chairperson, International Services and Global Division of the National Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, 2020-2021
- President, Texas Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, 2021
- Sammi K. Rankin award, Texas Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind & Visually Impaired (For “outstanding contribution to services for persons who are blind or visually impaired in Texas”)
- Joy Award, Grand Prairie Independent School District (For demonstrating “integrity, dependability, flexibility, and the ability to show love, laughter, and leadership” according to professional peers)
- Assistive technology
- Digital inclusion and accessibility
- Non-visual access to print and media
- Sustainable provision of braille
Belinda Rudinger, Ed.D., a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and Special Education at A&M-Commerce, has been elected to the board of the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Visual Impairments and Deaf-Blindness (DVIDB). DVIDB seeks to advance the education of individuals with visual impairments while promoting related educational, scientific and charitable purposes. […]