ACES Day Three: Check In

Image of a young man standing in front of the Temple Owl statue wearing red.


The community is forming and the days are flying past!  We are getting to know each other and working hard. One unexpected hitch has been tons of rain.  This is not a typical Philly summer. It can make it difficult for our participants to explore the Temple campus.  Tech does not like getting wet.

Image of empowerment speaker and audience at ACES

A term I have been using a lot over the past few days is “MacGyvering”.  We are not only learning our participant’s communication modalities, but also looking at the need to solve some access/technical challenges with out of the box thinking.  We are using a GoPro mount to help someone use his thumb to press a Microlight switch. We might use Instamorph to help position an existing mount on his hand by creating a grip.  Yesterday, I had to use an earing to change dip switch settings on a Tapio switch interface. Through, I have reached out to the maker community (Thanks Bill!) to find someone to 3D print a mount.

Adapting assistive tech is fun. I have my duct tape at the ready! With duct tape, we can solve almost any problem, right?

Image of rolls of colorful duct tape.

Even more importantly, our participants are getting to know each other, and hearing from some amazing Empowerment speakers.  Godfrey Nazareth joined us on wednesday to talk about being a leader. Today, my colleague Katie, is speaking about life with CP. Our ACES participants have had wonderful questions.  Tomorrow evening, we are having an ACES alumni pizza party!

Selfie of two AAC users.

There is more to come.  I will continue to share some ACES pictures and memories.

Image of two people, one in a wheelchair, posing in front of Temple Owl statue

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Kathryn Helland

Kathryn is a certified speech-language pathologist and works with children and adults with complex communication needs. She has been with the TechOWL team since 2015 and is currently working on her doctorate. She would like to examine how to best support AAC users in higher education.

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