Book to present first case study focused on digital technologies’ potential to facilitate inclusion for linguistically and culturally diverse students with disabilities.
Having migrated to the United States from Mexico at a young age, Prado’s work is deeply personal. Her path to Ph.D. candidacy started in elementary school as an English language learner receiving special education services. With perseverance and support, she earned her B.A. in Psychology from Stanford University and an M.Ed. specialized in reading intervention from Harvard University. Her lived experience navigating an education system that still excludes linguistically and culturally diverse students with disabilities drives her scholarship on inclusive education.
“I take an interdisciplinary approach to studying the intersecting influences of school context, family engagement, language and literacy practices, and uses of digital media on inclusion,” Prado said. “My goal is to identify and sustain environments that help linguistically and culturally diverse children with disabilities thrive. As one of the last segregated groups in our education system, too few of these children have the opportunities for academic success and social inclusion they deserve.”
In Voices on the Margins, Prado discusses the ways schools can use digital media to support the inclusion of diverse students with and without disabilities across in-person and remote learning environments. The book will investigate how schools can use technology to amplify student agency and voice, shifting the broader ecology of the learning environment. This new ecology emphasizes interdependence - collaborative uses of technology - as a means to foster relationships and support inclusion.
As a whole, Prado’s work is shaping the discussion around inequality, inclusion and access in schools.
For the past three years, Prado has been a member of the Orange County Educational Advancement Network (OCEAN), a network of research-practice partnerships between the UCI School of Education and K-12 school sites. At each site, a School of Education faculty member and doctoral student work with school leadership to identify the greatest needs and goals of the school, and in turn conduct research that will positively impact the school.
Prado’s work with OCEAN extends to the Community Education Fellows program, which promotes equitable formation of pandemic pods in diverse, under-served, communities. These small groupings of children for socialization, education, and play present an innovative extension to remote learning in the COVID era. The Community Education Fellows program scales this approach, matching families with UCI undergraduate students mentored by Prado.
Prado has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal and Science News.