Diana is a bright academic student who uses her technology to participate and actively pursue her learning.
Diana came to kindergarten 2 years after a car accident severed her spinal cord and left her with only the ability to do limited facial movement. She has a tilted wheelchair and requires suction of her ventilation system several times every hour. Diana is able to whisper and thus communicate verbally.
For Diana, being able to participate with her peers is the most important thing. She often insists that she get the exact same materials on her tray as her peers.
On the computer she operates a mouse with her mouth through “sip and puff” and tongue movement. In addition to the adapted mouse she uses an onscreen keyboard and mouse command software to manipulate files on her laptop. She uses her laptop about 75% of her time at school.
Prior to starting school there was little emphasis placed on pre-school skills due to her high physical needs. Once she arrived at school, the teaching team realized she would need special access technology in order to participate in classroom activities. Parents and school were hopeful that she would have some success academically considering how much of her day is spent on physical care. They were pleasantly surprised to find that, despite fewer instructional hours than her peers, Diana advanced rapidly in her academic development.
With the technology in place Diana became the top reader in her kindergarten class. Now that she is in Grade 1 she continues to perform at the top of her class in literacy and math skills. She uses Classroom Suite4 as well as Microsoft Word to do her writing. Even her father was surprised to discover how advanced Diana was in literacy and math skills.
Diana loves coming to school and being a part of the class. With the help of her software she is even able to do drawing and coloring activities of which she is very proud. Her desire to do what the others are doing has challenged her teaching assistant to push the limits of her technology and become very tech ‘savvy’ herself.
Diana’s technology has enabled her to not only be engaged with her peers but to demonstrate her above average academic abilities. At a time when she is still learning emotionally to deal with her compromised physical state, Diana’s technology has provided her with success, hope, and a new self confidence.
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