STORIES2020-10-21T10:15:21-05:00

Starting a College Adventure

Elisabeth is a 19-year-old woman just beginning her first semester of studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She was born with cerebral palsy, and relies on a power wheelchair for mobility. Over the summer, she completed an assistive technology evaluation with an IATP assistive technology specialist to help determine what technology will help her work independently as a college student living on campus. Elisabeth has unique speech patterns, so several different voice recognition software applications and various microphones were tested, along with several keyboard and mouse options as she worked to narrow down the best devices and software applications for her needs. She has received follow-up training services from IATP and is busy pursuing her college studies.

Life’s a Journey: Hardships to Blessings

There are certain people in the world with a natural gift to lift others. The power of this ability cannot be overstated. Colten Skinner is a man with such a gift. Colten exudes positivity and hope with virtually every word and action in his life. Staff members at IATP had the opportunity to meet and work with Colten. Originally, we worked with Colten to ensure he had the necessary devices and programs to complete school and obtain a job. Colten was able to develop the skills necessary to use speech recognition efficiently and use an adapted mouse and keyboard. These tools allow Colten to write independently and access the internet and various programs on his PC. A height adjustable table provides him with the ability to place his work space at an ideal level. While completing his degree and working from home Colten began to work on his auto-biography. He mentioned it on several occasions over the years and updated us on his progress. After years of hard work, Colten was able to complete his book and have it published in 2020. Life’s A Journey: Hardships to Blessings is the amazing story of Colten’s life and the challenges he overcame. Colten’s incredible drive and determination to write this book all while accomplishing so many other tasks is beyond comprehension. As his book illustrates, Colten is involved with many committees and charities dedicated to helping children with cancer and providing opportunities for people with disabilities. Colten is never one to rest on his laurels as he is already hard at work on his next book. 

James thanks IATP & Care Connects Program

“My name is James and I’m a disabled Vietnam Veteran. Before COVID-19, I was able to get out of the house and visit my family and church friends. As a result of the pandemic,
I lost the opportunity to socialize with my loved ones. When I contacted IATP and explained the isolation I was experiencing, they were eager to help. IATP provided me with an iPad, as well as training to learn how to use it. My iPad has allowed me to maintain close connections with my family and friends. I’m able to attend church virtually and fellowship with my church friends as well. I also have access to social media and can keep up with my grandchildren. I’m so grateful for IATP and their genuine care for seniors. Thank you!”

IN MEMORY OF JAMES who is loved and missed by family and friends.

 

Meet Donna

Donna has a rare form of muscular dystrophy that limits her ability to use a standard computer keyboard and mouse. She received an AT evaluation and was provided Fast-Track equipment that has allowed her to become employed from home. She works for a company that matches sign language interpreters who have specialized training with customers in need of medical or technical interpreting services. Donna was paired with the appropriate AT including voice recognition technology that allows full access to her computer and telephone interface.

Donna wrote, “IATP was instrumental in helping me to secure a laptop and computer accessories for my new work-from-home job. Not only did they accurately assess my disability-related needs, but they also worked with me to pinpoint the best specific equipment and software. IATP staff communication and knowledge has enabled me to be successful at my new job without having to worry about accommodating my disability. Thank you, IATP!”

No Place Like Home

Elevator in new homeSonya and Rick are familiar with IATP’s Financial Loan Program and have used it multiple times over the years to purchase modified vehicles and other Assistive Technology. They recently purchased a new home and in order to make it accessible for Sonya they made modifications such as widening doorways and remodeling a bathroom in the lower level with a roll in shower. To make the home totally functional, they once again decided to utilize the IATP ATLoan Program to fund the purchase of a home elevator. The elevator has provided Sonya with access to their entire home. More information on the IATP loan program is available on the Financial Loans for AT webpage.

Making Music

Viola Interior craftsmanship in progress

Victoria is a classically trained musician who plays the viola. Due to a childhood bone deformity, she has limited range of motion in her arms and wrists. She has never been able to reach the upper registers, also known as “the heavens,” thus limiting her ability to fully master the viola. Luthier Noah Scott of Seman Violins was able to construct a unique instrument by eliminating one of the upper bouts and narrowing the thickness of the neck, allowing Victoria to literally reach new heights in her playing. Victoria is a student at Illinois State University where she will graduate with a degree in stringed orchestral music. She plays in the University orchestra and teaches children stringed instruments. After graduation, she plans to make a living teaching stringed instruments.