Olivia is an 8-year-old with autism and a severe speech impediment. Unable to talk with her teachers, her classmates — even her own family — she was withdrawn, trapped in a lonely world of her own. Then Infinitec brought her an iPad with assistive software, and everything changed. Today she can ask and answer questions in class, use Braille software to read e-books to her classmates, and take videos to share with her friends. One of her favorites shows her on a school field trip; it turns out she’s a really good bowler! She’s also a charming girl, and now everyone knows it.
Samuel, 10, has autism and a rare neurodevelopmental disorder that make it difficult for him to communicate. He used to sit apart from his peers and needed an adult to translate his schoolwork. All that turned around when he got a device that speaks for him. He presses the icons, and out come his thoughts. In no time, he went from learning his new tool to teaching others how to use it. He tells jokes, makes friends and even shared a poem he wrote on a recent field trip.
Anahi is visually impaired, but that doesn’t stop her for a minute. With help from assistive technologies, the 12-year-old completes most of her class assignments on her own then emails her work to her teachers. Now she’s made the leap from special education to regular classes and often shows her teachers new tricks to make her devices perform better. She’s a power user!
Roy has cerebral palsy, hyperactivity and blindness. He also has deep curiosity and a love of learning. At 11, he’s mastered a host of “talking” devices, from a pedometer that helps him navigate around school, a book player that reads to him, a color analyzer, an Internet and email reader, even a cooking thermometer. Those devices have brought Roy into mainstream classes — and into a whole new world.
Grace is a smart young woman, but for a long time, no one knew it. The 14-year-old and her twin brother both have cerebral palsy. Her disability includes visual perception problems that make it difficult for her to read and motor impairments that make it challenging for her to type. She was failing in school until she started using assistive technology. With language software, books on tape and a special keyboard, she’s shining in the classroom. And, using her new computer skills, she’s writing educational software to help her brother learn.
Brett is a born storyteller. When he was younger, he said, all his stories were trapped in his head, as if a locked door kept him from putting his thoughts on paper. Assistive technology has opened that door. By age 12, Brett was using a variety of software to organize his thoughts and polish his drafts. Now he’s not only writing, he’s getting published.
Ryan was born with progressive hearing loss. But with help from voice-recognition software, he went through high school in regular classes without an interpreter. He played sports, went out for forensics, led his state’s National Academic Bowl team, received the Presidential Call to Service Award for community service, and graduated at the top of his class.
Visit www.infinitec.org for more information and resources.