We had a great week at the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) Conference in Orlando, FL. One of the highlights was having the pleasure of hosting Shelby Nurse in our booth. Shelby, for those of you who don’t know, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was two, setting her family on a quest to give Shelby the tools she needed to live a life without restrictions. Shelby has the usual hardware – motorized wheelchair, adapter for her cell phone, laptop with an accessible keyboard — but when it came to Shelby’s academic studies, software became essential. IntelliTools products such as Classroom Suite and IntelliKeys, and Kurzweil 3000-firefly helped Shelby, to paraphrase her dad, “ride the academic bus.”
Today Shelby, who is extremely intelligent, is able to attend college and work towards her degree in Psychology because of Kurzweil 3000-firefly. The product allows her to keep up with the considerable amount of reading and writing at school. She uses the Text-to-Speech feature to read the 30-40 pages of daily required reading and the highlighting and writing tools to help with her writing assignments. Shelby joined us to work at the ATIA booth where she told people who came by about her work with Kurzweil 3000-firefly. A father came to the booth, looking for a product that would help his son with his reading, instead of him having to read everything to his son. After Shelby demonstrated Kurzweil 3000-firefly to that dad, he left the booth grinning because now there was hope for his son to read independently. And Shelby was thrilled to be able to make a contribution to someone else who struggled to read.
But what Shelby probably didn’t know was that she was contributing in other ways, even before her work in our booth. During the conference, several teachers recognized Shelby and told her they show her video to their students as inspiration to not let anything stand in their way towards accomplishing their goals.
We are gratified to be a part of Shelby’s journey to create a life of her choosing. Shelby and others like her are why we go to work every morning!
Get a glimpse of Shelby’s world in this video.