You’re opening up new horizons

This is an article from Unfold magazine.

Kim is the Assistive Technologist at Craig y Parc  – a role that you helped fund. We asked Kim to talk you through her week, so you can see just how important you are to the future of her students.

Monday

A busy day – there’s only one of me for 42 students! Today I showed round some parents, and they asked me what assistive technology was. You might be wondering the same, so I’ll sum it up for you in one word – independence.

I use technology to help students do things for themselves.

Tuesday

One student is learning to use EyeGaze technology, which allows her to control a mouse on the screen with her eyes. This morning, we had a breakthrough!

I wish you had seen the look on her face when she typed her name for the first time – that’s the amazing difference your support makes.

Wednesday

Today a teacher asked me to help a student get involved in a cookery lesson. I connected the switch on his wheelchair with the food mixer, so he could use it on his own.

Being able to cook will help our students lead independent lives, and your generosity is enabling them to learn this vital skill.

Thursday

One of our classes read a ‘Twilight’ book today, but each student did it differently. Some read on a tablet; another turned pages with a switch; another used EyeGaze. It was great!

All the students had the same goal, but technology – and you – helped them find their own way to achieve it.

Friday

I did some paperwork for a student who is going on to college. I told his new tutors about the technology he uses, so he can continue his progress.

The future looks bright for him – and all our students. You’re opening up the world to them, and I know they would want me to say thank you.

How you make the difference

You’re giving students access to the latest technology, and helping them learn how to make the most of it. With these skills, they will be able to follow their dreams and lead independent lives in the future.

Here’s how your gifts make a difference:

  • It costs £25 to buy a switch, which can be attached to a student’s wheelchair, so they can open a door or turn on a light themselves.
  • It costs £39 for a specially adapted large keyboard, making it possible for a student to type and communicate on their own.
  • It costs £120 for a student to develop their skills through ten one-to-one sessions with an Assistive Technologist.

We know first-hand the difference that teachers like Kim can make to the lives of disabled young people, but don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what Tom, who’s 16-years-old and attends Craig Y Parc, told us:

“I’m getting to grips with computers. I use a joystick and adapted keyboard for typing. Without assistive technology, I wouldn’t have independence. People would have to do things for me.”

Scope exists to make this country a place where disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else. Until then, we'll be here.

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