Ellery Robinson

Fellowship Year: 2022-2023 Impact Fellow
Fellowship Location: Washington, D.C.
Fellowship Placement: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology

What I did before EP:
I came to EP with a background in special education through classroom, policy, and research experience. My focus is on improving and promoting accessibility.

After I served as a lab manager at Boston University, I taught special education with a focus on working with students and their families to develop life skills that will support their post-secondary life. I also served as a parent advocate and helpline volunteer for Massachusetts Advocates for Children, fighting for children with disabilities’ educational rights and supporting their families. I gained further policy and leadership experience as an Institute for Educational Leadership Education Policy Fellowship Program Fellow.

What I did during the Fellowship:
I entered the U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology as the lead on accessibility. I began my work by hosting listening sessions with educators and learners with disabilities to better understand how they are experiencing policies on the ground level. From there, I dove into numerous projects with the goal of supporting educators and promoting accessibility for all learners. I was fortunate enough to spearhead accessibility initiatives, including a national edtech webinar series, global accessibility awareness campaign, guidance on assistive technology, and host an accessible edtech event with edtech and accessibility leaders across the country.

What I learned from the Fellowship:
The Education Pioneers Fellowship has immensely fueled my personal and professional growth. Being immersed in the U.S. Department of Education, I developed a profound understanding of federal education policy, collaborating closely with esteemed leaders in the field.

One aspect that stands out to me is the transformative power of collaboration and innovative problem-solving when confronting obstacles. Interacting with my fellow EP Fellows, I am constantly amazed by the wealth of experience, knowledge, and support present in our community. I am grateful for the invaluable leadership skills, lifelong friendships, and immeasurable learning opportunities I have gained from this extraordinary network.