Jennifer is a young woman living with cerebral palsy. She has overcome many obstacles in her life, starting with her birth more than three months early. Eventually the challenges of raising a premature infant became too overwhelming for her birth parents, and she was adopted. Since being adopted, Jennifer has been given love and many opportunities to flourish.
Jennifer has graduated from high school, taken college courses and volunteered at many organizations and businesses in Lincoln. She obtained her first paid job, working as an Americorps member through the City of Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department. Thanks to United Cerebral Palsy of Nebraska, she received an AlphaSmart computer that allows her to excel in her work on a daily basis. Jennifer looks forward to achieving her goal of obtaining a college degree with the help of her AlphaSmart.
Jennifer’s AlphaSmart Dana is a laptop computer designed for students given through the UCP Computer Kids program. It is a Palm OS device complete with touch-screen, allowing a student to write directly on the screen in addition to typing on the keyboard.
The Computer Kids program aims to bridge the technology gap for school-aged children with a disability. Working with school profession¬als, United Cerebral Palsy of Nebraska provides computers and the necessary adaptations to children who do not have the technology in their homes.
Katie has benefited tremendously from the Computer Kids program. “I want to thank United Cerebral Palsy of Nebraska for continuing the computer program,” said Katie’s mother, Karen. “My daughter has been able to access the electronic world like a normal teenager because of this gift. When we started with a desktop computer, Katie, at age 12, had never shown any interest in computers,” said Karen.
Katie now easily surfs the web, texting and accessing various websites that assist her with her visual, learning, and coordination issues.
“Without this program, I fear she would lead a very sheltered teenage life.”