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Wyoming Assistive Technology Resources matches students with devices in Allen H. Stewart Summer School for Visual Impaired
By Sara DiRienzo, WIND Information Specialist
Wyoming Assistive Technology Resources (WATR), Wyoming’s Assistive Technology Act program was invited to the Allen H. Stewart Summer School for the Visually Impaired in Casper, Wyoming to demonstrate assistive technology solutions to students and their families.
The Allen H. Stewart Summer School for the Visually Impaired, in association with the Lions and Montgomery Trust Fund, is a camp for kindergarten through high school students with visual impairments. Students who attend the camp are required to participate in classes, activities and learning opportunities. Volunteers travel from all over the United States to participate as instructors, and guide students through different learning tracks such as computer science or music. The camp’s purpose is “not a summer camp. It is a school for the Blind and Visually Impaired -- it uses the Expanded Core Curriculum for the Visually Impaired and Blind. The teaching staff is made up of professional educators and certified teachers of the visually impaired. A certified low-vision specialist provides a written evaluation for each student in conjunction with an eye exam with a local optometrist.”
John Paul Harris, Wyoming Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) project coordinator, worked with 17 students in small groups demonstrating assistive technology systems, answering questions, and letting the student try devices for themselves.
“While at the camp, I worked with a teacher of the visually impaired from Cheyenne and one of her students. We were able to match the student with an AT device that the student absolutely enjoyed--the Victor Reader Stream. The student was very excited to use the device for his upcoming year as a high school senior and then as a student at Casper Community College. The student had not had an opportunity to trail the device until the WATR demo at the camp,” said Harris.
The Victor Reader Stream is a handheld DAISY digital talking book reader that can be placed discreetly in a pocket and used with headphones. The device also has many other features that makes it useful for older students, such as the audio note recorder.
“The student said he thought he was going to be bored by the demonstration. However, he was surprised because he did not know such a device existed,” continued Harris.
WATR participates in many events throughout the year to connect students to assistive technology to enable them to be successful in the classroom. To find out more about WATR and our program, visit http://www.uwyo.edu/wind/watr.