Kira is 11 years old attending Cambridge Elementary School in Surrey, British Columbia. She uses Kurzweil 3000 effectively for reading and writing in class. She was born with cerebral palsy and right sided hemiplegia, making academic tasks challenging.
Integration support teacher, Kerry Tinant reports that, before the implementation of assistive technology into her daily routine at school, Kira fatigued easily when completing academic work, struggled to maintain focus on her tasks, and required support for oral language, reading comprehension and written output in the classroom.
In Kira’s words, “Before I got my SET-BC computer, school was hard! The class moved too fast and I needed my SEA to help me think of ideas, and write things down for me. Sometimes, my SEA also read things out loud to me, so that I could understand them better.”
Kira received a laptop computer with Kurzweil 3000 in January, 2008 (part-way through her grade four year). At this time, Kira was not meeting grade level expectations, and her educational program had a reduced workload, with modified materials. The school team at Cambridge focused on getting comfortable with Kurzweil for the remainder of the year, getting school textbooks in .kes format, and having Kira complete worksheets by scanning them in and word processing in text boxes
Kira also attended a two day Kurzweil Camp where she learned to use the program for reading, studying and writing in school. In September, 2009 the school team decided that a major goal for Kira would be to increase the quality and quantity of her written output in school.
By June 2010 using Kurzweil 3000 with some SEA support, Kira moved to working at grade level in both the quality and quantity of her written work.
When asked how Kurzweil helps her with her school work, Kira said, “Kurzweil has stuff that helps me keep up with the class: I use fill in the blanks to type my answers in my worksheets, I use the highlighters to find the most important parts of the information, and then I split the screen so I can drag the answers over to the blanks. Dragging the answers makes it so I don’t have to re-type all of the words.” Kira also says that she has started to use the brainstorm tool to help her plan her creative writing assignments.
Best of all, Kira says “Using Kurzweil I can now keep up with the class, and sometimes I’m even one of the first!”