|Selena Perez in her new power wheelchair.|
The wheelchair was a surprise for Selena and her family. Her parents thought they were attending a planning meeting with Cache County School District Special Education Director, Joel Allred.
The staff had been looking at other options for Selena, but they realized a new chair would be around $10,000. But after talking with Amy Henningsen, assistive technology specialist and occupational therapist for the Utah Assistive Technology Program of Utah State University, they learned about refurbished mobility devices available.
UATP's non-profit program CReATE (www.createutah.org) offers refurbished mobility devices for a small fee to the Utah public. Selena's measurements were taken for a new chair and sent to CReATe. A chair that was perfect for her was found in stock.
The $400 fee for the chair was paid for by the staff at the Cache County School District Office, who have come to love Selena.
ESL coordinator, Kelly James, said they decided instead of doing a gift exchange with each other, they wanted to do something meaningful.
|The Cache County School District staff with Selena.|
"We decided that the gifts seemed trivial, and seeing Selena get the chair was amazing," James said.
Selena's friends, family and school staff watched with tears in their eyes as she was able to zoom around the room. Her reaction at first was a choked 'thank you' of joy.
Read other stories about Selena and her new chair on the USU College of Education blog as well as The Herald Journal.
|Selena with her family.|