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1990 Best Technology and Everyday Life Awards.

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Technology can assist children with disabilities in remarkable ways. Each year we share with our readers outstanding examples of how the utilization of technology made a dramatic impact on the life of a child with a disability. We are very proud to now share with you the winners of our 1990 Best Technology and Everyday Life Awards. These stories serve as outstanding examples of what technology has accomplished - and remind us of the great potential it holds for the future ! Niki Kobacker, Columbus, Ohio

Four-and-a-half-year-old Miriam Kobacker has Williams syndrome and, unlike most children with Williams', she is nonverbal and unable to use sign language. Miriam was able to transfer many normal developmental speech patterns to her Prentke Romich Introtalker and could practice repeating individual letters and letter combinations. Miriam now uses a Touchtalker, which allows her to communicate on a more sophisticated level. Niki has also added to the Touchtalker system a Dectalk II synthesized voice, which has a little girl's voice that "suits Miriam to a `T.'"

John and Pam Scoglio, Greensboro, North Carolina

Erin Scoglio was born with a profound hearing impairment. However, at Christmastime in 1987, she underwent surgery to receive a Nucleus Mini 22 Channel Cochlear Implant System.

Since her operation, Erin's hearing has improved from a profound loss of over 90 db to a moderate loss of 40 - 45 db. She has developed a great amount of intelligible speech, and her lipreading skills have improved greatly. Her selfesteem is at a high.

Ronald and Sherrie Malcolm, Colby, Kansas

Nine-year-old Edward, who has a hearing impairment, can chat with friends and receive invitations to after-school events and birthday parties with the use of a TDD (telecommunications device for the dean. Edward knows when his friends are trying to call by a device attached to the family's telephone which flashes when the phone rings.

With his new closed captioning (CC) device, which connects to the back of the television set, Edward can now watch t.v. and understand. With the device in place, if a particular show is closed captioned, the dialogue is displayed across the bottom of the screen.

Also, Edward does not have to rely on anyone to wake him up in the morning. He uses a silent alarm clock. Before he goes to bed, he sets the time he wants to get up and puts the clock under his pillow. When the alarm goes off, it vibrates and shakes Edward's pillow, waking him up.

Edward and Rose Merchen, Danville, Illinois

Thirty-three-year-old Mary Ann Merchen, who has cerebral palsy and speech impairments, is a college graduate, lives independently, and is pursuing a writing career -all thanks to an electric typewriter and headpointer (which she began to use in first grade) which started it all ! Mary Ann now uses an I.B.M. compatible computer with a Unicorn expanded keyboard. She lives in her own apartment, with the security of a LifeLine system, which allows her to call for help from anywhere in her apartment should an emergency arise.

Mary Ann is trying to reach financial independence through the sale of her writing. She and her parents are confident that, with the help of technology, a successful writing career will soon be one more accomplishment she can add to her list ! Beth and Joseph McDonald, Dover, Delaware

Thanks to modern technology, the MacDonald family can be a family! Beth and Joe MacDonald's one-and a-half-year-old daughter, Mary Elizabeth ("Lizzy"), spent the first 10 months of her life in hospitals, being kept alive by complex medical procedures aided by technology. Beth and Joe never gave up their dream that someday their daughter could come home and together, with their son Joey, they could be a family.

Finally, that dream came true. With the help of a ventilator and pulse oximeter, Beth and Joe could take Lizzy home. Although Lizzy still has to visit hospitals occasionally, the MacDonald family is no longer separated.
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Title Annotation:8th Annual Computer Technology Directory, 1991
Publication:The Exceptional Parent
Date:Nov 1, 1990
Words:656
Previous Article:Securing technology funding: empowering parents.
Next Article:National Support Center; a service of IBM.
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