Thursday, January 20, 2011

Take time to celebrate successes

When our consumer's goals are met, we are successful. I wanted to share a great story of a consumer who had a very successful trial with an iPad.

This student is in 12th grade and is on track to graduate in June. He has already enrolled in his county's community college with the ambition to be an accountant. He is very good with numbers and is excited about his career choice.

This student has a rare physical disability and uses a power wheelchair for mobility. Due to his disability, he has difficulty speaking and uses an AAC device to communicate. This young man was brought to my attention because he was not using his current AAC device at all. He has a Lightwriter, but he is not a great speller. Additionally, the device is kept in a bag on his power wheelchair - not easily accessible for spontaneous communication (or any communication for that matter).

He currently relies on his 1:1 aide, who has known him many years, to communicate for him. The aide reported that she was able to understand him even though very few other people could. Next year, as is life after K-12, he will not have his aide and his family and the school staff are very concerned about how he will communicate with others at college.

The goal was to find a device that was lightweight, that could be either mounted or used on his power wheelchair tray and that he could easily use to communicate. He and his team decided to trial the iPad, with various apps, available to him through our Technology Lending Center. This trial was extremely successful and the student has decided that he will use the iPad instead of the Lightwriter.

The student reports that he feels much more confident and comfortable about entering college with a consistent and reliable method of access.

Celebrate the successes!

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