AT The Heart- Assistive and Inclusive Technology Stories


April 16, 2020 Hillary Goldthwait-Fowles Season 1 Episode 3
AT The Heart- Assistive and Inclusive Technology Stories
AT The Heart- Assistive and Inclusive Technology Stories
Apr 16, 2020 Season 1 Episode 3
Hillary Goldthwait-Fowles

Kalyee is a senior at Kennebunk High School who shares her experiences with Assistive Technology and how that helps her access content that is on the same level as her peers. She also talks about how to stay strong in times of crisis and offers some advice for teachers.
Episode transcript is included and can also be accessed at the following link:
Kaylee Episode Transcript

Show Notes Transcript

Kalyee is a senior at Kennebunk High School who shares her experiences with Assistive Technology and how that helps her access content that is on the same level as her peers. She also talks about how to stay strong in times of crisis and offers some advice for teachers.
Episode transcript is included and can also be accessed at the following link:
Kaylee Episode Transcript

spk_0:   0:07
cool. All right. Welcome to out the heart Assistive and inclusive technology stories. I'm your host, Hilary. Goldthwait-Fowles. And with me is Kenny Bunk. High School Senior Kaylee Gregoire, and we're in the midst of distance learning. We have been distance learning for a month. So Kaylee is here to talk about her experiences with assistive and inclusive technology. And also how distance learning has been going Kaylie. Welcome. And I'm so glad you're here today.

spk_1:   0:40
Thank you. I'm glad to be here. 

spk_0:   0:41
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. First off, how is distance learning going? What's working? What hasn't worked

spk_1:   0:49
Um, what's working? Well, I guess it's just that teachers have been keeping very good contact with their students. Google hangouts- a lot of hangouts.  Google classroom So, like using to just after all, your assignments see everything that you need for each class right in front of you. What's not going the greenest is just My email is being cluttered with so many different e mails from everyone. 

spk_0:   1:27
right? Yes, there's there's a blessing an email organization because it has definitely shifted in our work for email being the primary communication rather than in person. So, yeah, we'll talk off off site about that Because I have some tricks for you for that. So what types of assistive technology do you use?

spk_1:   1:50
So my main , kinda tools that I use are bookshare and text to speech. So those are kind of similar. I mean, book here is more for, like, textbooks and any pretty much any book that in English classes are at the high school. You can find them there andThey have this cool tool where it will actually read the book to you. So you can follow along in your next book or whatever you're reading here. It was just very helpful to me personally.

spk_0:   2:32
Awesome. Awesome. So you're saying that there are  books that are already being provided outside a book share if I heard that correctly that have the audio button on it?  Oh no in bookshare I was talking about bookshare in general.

spk_0:   0:00

spk_0:   0:00
You can listen to it.   

spk_0:   2:51
Yeah. And how does that help you as a learner, having the ability to listen to a book as opposed to having to read the book with your eyes?

spk_1:   3:00
Yeah, I would have to read book just with my eyes I guess. Oh, I'll have to read the passage multiple kinds to actually understand even what I'm reading because it's hard for me to retain information that way. It just doesn't happen as  quickly hearing the information. It's completely different. I like, actually see, like what I'm reading as hear it. I retain it much faster, and it's easy for me to remember

spk_0:   3:34
Fantastic. How does So you've talked a little bit about how the that will help you. But how does it empower you in terms of having access to courses at the high school and access to college?

spk_1:   3:50
It allows me to be able to complete my assignments and my work without having to spend like an entire afternoon to assignments. It helps me to keep up with my classmates. 

spk_0:   4:03
right, so you're able to keep up with your peers using the tools that you have.  

spk_0:   4:08

spk_0:   4:08
That's awesome.  Have you ever been told that using your tools is a form of Cheating? And if you have, how have you addressed it? 

spk_1:   4:14
I have been told that it's getting me like an unfair advantage, but it's really not true. at all.  I mean my brain works in a different way than my peers. So with these assistive technologies, it's not giving me an unfair advantage or it's not cheating. The technology's don't really do the work for me it's the person doing the work whose actually putting the effort in the time the energy into it only works as well as the person using it.

spk_0:   4:49
Exactly. It's a tool like a pencil. What advice would you give to others who might be reluctant to use assistive technology tools and supports?

spk_1:   5:03
I would tell them to be grateful for whatever you're given, whether it's assistive technology's or extra time. Or teachers are after teachers of huge within the learning center. Just be grateful for whatever you're given, because we're fortunate enough to receive those accommodations. But not everyone the world is. So it's really just a positive thing. You want to  be able to take advantage of any opportunity you're given. 

spk_0:   5:36
Exactly. And what else would you want others to know about you as a learner, as a person, in terms of using the tools or accessing higher level content for lack of a better word, for example, accessing More college type of courses or IB courses What would you like people to know?

spk_1:   6:03
So if you take advantage of the accommodations that you're given, really, there is a, uh, course at the high school, but if you use all the tools you're giving properly that you can't. D'oh! :Like  it's just how much time and effort put into those classes you can. The teachers are nice enough at Kennebunk High School l that they will help you in any way they can, especially if you're someone who wants to learn and is willing to. Even if you're struggling a class, they go out of their way to help you stay and accomplish what you want in that class. So even the harder classes in Kennebunk. 

spk_0:   6:48
that's awesome to hear that. And what would you tell people who are, um, in distance learning right now? Because we're all learning in different ways right now with distance learning. What advice or support could you give two other people who are, um, in a similar situation using distance learning and might be struggling or might be feeling discouraged. What would you offer to them?

spk_1:   7:17
Um, well, we're all just in this together Like it. I don't think it's gonna It's easy for any one right now, including like Teachers and staff members. So just hang in there, try to keep up with your assignments as  best you can, and definitely stay in good contact with your teachers  because if you are, like missing an assignment or whatnot, if you can tell your teacher and talk with them, they might be able to give you accommodations  on that assignment if it's possible. If you're, like, really, really struggling with it or they'll explain it to you, try to help you. So just try to keep in good contact with your teachers. 

spk_0:   8:01
So that communication this is really important. I'm glad that you said that, um, Kaylee where you headed next in the fall after high school and all of that where you headed and what do you What are you gonna Do?

spk_1:   8:17
So I am headed to Thomas College next fall, and I'm going to be playing field hockey there for their team, and I will be majoring in psychology.

spk_0:   8:29
Fantastic. And, um, what would you need like in terms of when you've gone to college? What have you done? Have you worked with their... cause every office in college has a disability  rights office. What did you have to do anything extra to prepare for your accommodations? How did that go?

spk_1:   8:55
So I have an older sister who's also their who also has  learning disabilities, and we made it known. My coach has been a huge help in the process, My coach at Thomasl. Oh, cause she's also a staff member there. Thomas. And she made sure that Allie my sister Allie her IEP  was taken on to the college, you know that she had access to everything at the school- at Thomas too. 

spk_0:   9:31
Great. Great. Okay. Lee, I am so grateful that you took the time to talk us today about how you're using Bookshare and Text to  speech to access your course content and your materials. I've been so proud of how you've embraced the tools and are using them tow access, things that might have been challenging in other situations but are completely accessible and  available to you. And I'm just grateful you took the time. And I'm happy that you were able to be here. And I wish you all the best in college. And hopefully they'll do something special for you for graduation. I heard that they might be planning something.  

spk_0:   10:14
Yeah that means a lot.

spk_0:   10:14
Hopefully that'll be good. A good way to honor your graduates in this time and thank you again for your time today.

spk_0:   0:00
Of course. Thanks.