Hannah with her school name badgeThe POWER of assistive technology to change a life and provide lifelong benefits was never more evident than in the story of Hannah.  In 2007 at age 15, she was involved in a car accident and acquired a severe traumatic brain injury. She could no longer walk, talk, or even hold up her head. After months of hard work and therapy, she got back on her feet again. Due to her ongoing memory loss issues and reading and writing needs, she was referred to ND Assistive through vocational rehabilitation for an assistive technology (AT) assessment.

Because of the AT assessment and subsequent equipment rentals from ND Assistive, Hannah found that a LiveScribe Echo SmartPen helped her tremendously with taking notes and remembering what to do next.  She learned how to use the built-in features of her smartphone to remember her schedule and medications.  In addition, for reading and writing, she started using scan-and-read technologies with text-to-speech, as well as, speech recognition for writing.

In 2018, ND Assistive reconnected with Hannah and learned that she not only graduated from college but that she was currently employed as a paraprofessional near her hometown! She stated that she owed a lot of her success to her AT.  She said that “without assistive technology, especially the pen, I wouldn’t have been able to do college. It enabled me to go to each class and be as independent as I possibly could be.  AT has changed my life for the better-I can’t even put it into words.” She said, “for example, I use Google Maps to navigate from place to place every day. If I did not have that, I would get lost all the time. I even got lost in Cando, ND if that tells you anything!”

Transitioning through the system with AT and getting a desired full-time job? This is a return on investment and gift that keeps on giving even after 10 years!

About Author

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Jeannie Krull is the Program Director for ND Assistive (formerly IPAT). She is an ASHA certified speech/language pathologist and a RESNA certified Assistive Technology Professional, who has worked with people with disabilities of all ages since 1991.