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Lynn Andres

Adaptive Technology Equipment
Year Two

Lynn is a middle aged woman with short gray hair. She is wearing a purple top with white embroidery around the neckline and eyeglasses. She is standing at the microphone watching her presentation on her laptop as it is projected on the screen.

The first slide shows the title – TIMAC, Orange Grove Adult School, San Juan USD, Sacramento. Adults with Disabilities, Cohort 2, 2005 – 07

The second slide shows a photo of the Student Council standing in front of the school. There is also a picture of the school mascot, a dragon.

  • The Orange Grove on-site program serves 200 students ages 22 – 76 whose primary challenge is mental retardation
  • Orange Grove also has six satellite programs in partnership with Easter Seals and United Cerebral Palsy Association which serves another 250 students

Lynn continues her presentation.

Lynn Andres: Hi, I'm Lynn Andres, as you've heard, and I teach here in Sacramento at Orange Grove Adult School. It's for students who have disabilities. We have 200 students there and the program runs from nine to three, five days a week. The students take six different classes during the day. A wide variety of things offered and they're able to make a class selection every year and choose the classes that they are most interested in. And Orange Grove also has what we call satellite programs. A teacher is assigned out to another site that would be maybe a UCP site or an Easter Seals site and those teachers are a little isolated. I have 12 colleagues at Orange Grove and we're all working together, but these teachers are out on their own and I relate to that because I've done that. You're just very isolated. You don't have a nice group of colleagues to exchange ideas with and to try new things with.

Description: This slide dated 2005 – 06, shows photos of her two mentees sitting in front of their computers. There is also a photo of Lynn car, loaded with gear to take to her mentees

  • Worked with Alexis from Easter Seals' Ace-It II program and Dian from UCP's SAAGE program to set up small accessible computer labs at their programs
  • I gathered, evaluated, and funneled some surplus computer, printers, and software to their programs
  • Did some troubleshooting with their existing computers and showed them how to defrag, run disk scans, etc.
  • Demonstrated and gave them copies of the educational freeware that I have collected over the years

Description: Lynn continues her presentation.

Lynn: So the first year, I talked to a couple people that only come on campus maybe once or twice a month to hand in their attendance and everything. And as you know, adult ed doesn't really have a lot of inservices or prep time for people to get together, so I asked these teachers if they would like to be my mentees and I would do my best to set them up with some computers, printers, software. I have this extensive collection of freeware that I've put together in a CD and everything so that they wouldn't necessarily have to have any costs for software or I gathered software that other people had gotten rid of and instead of just tossing it away, that we could maybe reuse it. So, I probably shouldn't have done this. This is something I learned this from the first time. I had one site was 20 minutes one way from Orange Grove and the other site was 20 minutes the other way. And that was kinda hard to get out to see both people.

But Diane and Alexis, they were happy even to get those old crummy computers. And I got back to Alexis, and she says the computers I gave her, the students use them all the time. They're printing out things; they're doing newsletters and everything so they're getting a lot of good use. And those computers, they were computers that, nobody else wanted so I'm glad that they've gotten some further educational use. Diane, she was really computer phobic (laughing) and unfortunately, she no longer works for adult ed. She went on to become a program manager for UCP.

And this year, I'm doing the same thing with two teachers at an Easter Seals site. They're not in the same classroom, but they are in the same site so I didn't have to run around so much in my car. And I did the same thing. I collected unwanted computers. I tried to get them functioning well and get some software on them that the teachers could use. Printers, my students love to print stuff out; that's the biggest motivator. And some adaptive access cuz people need adaptive keyboards, touch windows, head pointers, switches, and the challenges were those old crummy computers that nobody else wanted. Get them functioning again; can they be used some more? My mentees, our programs ran at the same time concurrently, so when I wanted to go out and see them, I had to get a sub and make arrangements to get away from my classroom.

And even last year, for these old computers, I could still find adaptive keyboards and things that you can connect to them but they're all made with USB cords now and it's getting harder to make those computers more functional unless you find some used touch windows and things. There's no way to connect them to the older computers. Last year, people still had stuff in their warehouses to get rid of and they didn't mind having us purchase them, but this year I couldn't find anything. And those computers are old and they're frustrating and sometimes you feel like they need to be repurposed to something else.

Description: The audience laughs as they view a slide off-camera of Lynn's suggetion for repurposing old computers.

Lynn: But the successes are the students. The students love to use technology. They love to use computers. The joy on their faces and the determination; someone that even just to press the right key with the head pointer or something; it's just amazing to see. And my mentees reported back to me that they had a lot of trouble with the support staff from the other programs maybe feeling that these students; well they can't to anything; they're disabled and whatnot, but when they see something working – oh I didn't know they knew that. I didn't know they could do that. And it really got them going in starting to work more often with the students. And one of my mentees, she got a job over at Orange Grove now. And she's going to take over my old classroom that I saw for three hours a day. She's going to be in there six hours a day teaching adults with severe, multiple disabilities.

And what did I learn from TIMAC? Well it really broadened my horizons. Seeing what everyone else does, you know, I've got plans for the next ten years.

Description: Screen fades to black.