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MDRC cultivates disability pride and strengthens the disability movement by recognizing disability as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity while collaborating to dismantle all forms of oppression.

Tonya is a woman open to challenges and always willing to try new things. As a mother of six, with Cerebral Palsy, diabetes, COPD and seizures she wanted to remain as independent as possible without relying on her grown children. Tonya contacted Kathy Tourneur at United Cerebral Palsy of Metro Detroit and expressed an interest in seeing if assistive technology could help her remain independent. Specifically, she wanted to see if an iPod or iPad could be of use to her. She wanted something not too complicated to keep in touch with family members and look for employment. It had to be light and easy for her to handle and move around, as she used a wheelchair to get from room to room.

Tonya wearing a brown shirt, smiling slightly.

Tonya first tried the iPod but quickly said it was too small and hard for her to see and use. When she tried it, she became frustrated with it. It was not easy for her fingers to touch the screen. Next she tried the iPad and found the size perfect, easy to hold and read. She quickly was able to use it without any problems. Kathy also showed Tonya some apps. and Tonya felt that the Dragon Dictation app would be most beneficial to help her create letters to family and potential employers. She felt it would also benefit her because she said she is very forgetful and when she thinks of something she could dictate it to Dragon. “Wow, I wouldn’t have to try to find paper and pencil. I never knew something like this existed”, she remarked.

Tonya said that she was worried that she would not grasp how to use it and become frustrated, because, at age 53 she did not grow up with a computer, Yet she found this to be very easy. “It was well worth taking the time to learn and try it out, before buying it… technology can open a whole new world if you just take the time to investigate and try.”

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