Brandi, a grade 7 student at Lena Shaw Elementary in Surrey, is part of a great team scoring big when implementing assistive technology to support her educational program. Brandi started using a computer in Grade 2.
Because she has cerebral palsy, she used a 2 switch system using her head and one hand to write using Clicker 5. Over the years Brandi has tried different methods to access the computer and is now able to use a joystick, rather than switches, to make choices on the screen. This allows her to write faster and to be more independent when completing classroom writing tasks.
Brandi’s team includes Emily Yick, her integration support teacher, and Lynette Saunier, her Special EducationAssistant. Emily started working with Brandi this year while Lynette has been Brandi’s SEA for the past 7 years. Brandi and her team have worked hard over the years to develop Brandi’s independence through the use of assistive technology. Lynette helps set up the various activities that Brandi will do on the computer and then Brandi can work on her own completing them. By accessing the computer with the joystick, Brandi has improved her coordination, fine motor skills, memory and, most especially, her self confidence.
Brandi, being a huge Vancouver Canucks fan, has created a story about them in the Clicker software program. With Lynette’s help they downloaded pictures of favourite players and Brandi wrote stories about them. Brandi enjoys sharing her Canucks story especially now as the team marches to the Stanley Cup finals!
Brandi is going to secondary school next year. Emily and Lynette feel confident that she will continue to grow and develop her skills as she meets new challenges. While she is certain to miss her current winning team, she is also looking forward to meeting the new people who will be in her corner during her high school years.