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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.

Jaylen smiling holding vibrating alarm clock

Meet Jaylen: 17-years old, 2016 graduate of Southwestern Academy, attending Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. this summer majoring in management and marketing, future Gallaudet Bison baseball player, and he's Deaf.

In a society where people like to attach labels and stereotypes, Jaylen has many labels - each label shapes him, but no single one defines him. He visited The Disability Network to meet with Carrie Baugher, Assistive Technology Professional. Carrie provided a device demonstration where Jaylen could try out a variety of items that could benefit him while away at college from the Michigan Assistive Technology Program's "small changes Big Differences" kit. Classes will no longer be at 7:25 a.m. Monday through Friday like his high school classes. His class schedule will change throughout the day. A barrier existed in alerting him in waking up in the morning and alerting him throughout the day when he needs to go to class.

The solution? Jaylen will use a vibrating alarm clock to wake up each morning and use the alarm clock's strobe light adaptation during the afternoon to alert him when he needs to leave for class. Obstacles? Pfft. There are zero obstacles that can't be overcome. Everything is achievable - ask Jaylen!

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