I consider myself an Inclusive Learning Evangelist: my mission is to help educators create more inclusive learning environments for all students through the implementation of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles, the selection of appropriate assistive technology for those students who need it to overcome barriers to learning, and the authoring of accessible content.
I have a doctorate in special education and a master’s in instructional technology from the University of South Florida (USF), and while I pursued my graduate studies I worked for the Florida Center for Instructional Technology (FCIT) at USF. At FCIT, I had the privilege of being on the staff for both the Laptop Initiative and the iTeach Initiative, two programs that provide training and support on Apple Technologies to faculty and students in the USF College of Education. I was also the project manager for Tech Ease for All, a collection of free assistive technology and web accessibility tutorials for teachers.
In recognition of my accomplishments in the field of educational technology, in 2009 I was one of 52 educators in the U.S. selected to join the 2009 class of the Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE)Program. ADEs are a select group of K-12 and higher education professionals with an identified expertise in educational technology. I am also a Google in Education Certified Innovator (formerly Google Certified Teacher). Currently, I serve as the Professional Learning Chair of the Inclusive Learning Network of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). For my work in that role I was selected as the 2016 ISTE ILN Outstanding Inclusive Educator.
To learn more about my philosophy and beliefs as an advocate for inclusive design, please watch this 11-minute interview conducted by my good friend Christopher Hills at the 2014 Inclusive Learning Technologies Conference in Australia.
For other interviews I have done, check out the following:
- Designing for All: Inclusion and EdTech (interview with Digital Learning Network)
- Blind Abilities Presents: Luis Perez, A Pioneer in Accessibility (podcast guest).
I was featured on one of The Infinite Thinking Machine’s Idea Slams. This one focused on iBooks Author and how anyone can use it to create accessible books that work for all students.
In addition to technology and accessibility, another passion of mine is photography. On my Instagram page, you can see some of the photos I take with my favorite camera, my iPhone. You can also read an interview featuring my mobile photography work on The App Whisperer, and my YouTube channel has a video that discusses my vision of “photography for all.”
- Tech Insider: A legally blind man took these amazing photos – Thanks to Apple (7/31/15)
- Business Insider: An iPhone feature most people never find is doing something amazing for the visually impaired (7/27/15)
- The Gulf Today: ZU talks inclusion of special needs students, focuses on mobile tech. (4/6/15)
- THE Journal: 6 ways to engage every learner (12/3/14)
- Sydney Morning Herald Digital Life: Luis Perez finds blindness caused by retinitis pigmentsa no barrier to enjoying photography (6/4/14)
- Tech Guide: Meet Luis Perez, the master iPhone photographer who is legally blind (5/26/14).
- Media Access Australia Access IQ: Q&A: Inclusive Learning Evangelist Luis Perez (5/19/14)
- News Corp Australia: How to take amazing pictures on your iPhone: Three photographers reveal their top tips (5/16/14)
- New York Times: Disruptions, Visually Impaired Turn to Smartphones to See Their World (9/29/13).
- Salt Lake Tribune: At Salt Lake seminar, visually impaired learn how high tech can unleash creativity (3/24/12).